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Ripperologist Magazine diciembre 2008


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  • 1. RIPPEROLOGIST MAGAZINE Issue 98, December 2008 QUOTE FOR DECEMBER:‘There are many sites of horror in London, from Jack the Ripper’s killing fields to the dungeons at the Tower, but for anyone with a pressing need, one prospect is most frightening of all: the locked gates, rubbish-strewn stairs and rodent-filled corners of the disused public toilet.’ Elizabeth Renzetti, London no longer flush with the civil facilities, Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON, Canada, 4 December 2008. We would like to acknowledge the valuable assistance given by Features the following people in the production of this issue of Ripperologist: — Chris Scott, Robert Linford, Debra J Arif, Suzi Hanney and Melissa Garrett —Thank you! Editorial In My End Is My Beginning The views, conclusions and opinions expressed in signed Eduardo Zinna articles, essays, letters and other items published in Ripperologist are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views, conclusions and opinions of Ripperologist or The Cremers Memoirs: Another Crumbled Pillar its editors. The views, conclusions and opinions expressed in Howard Brown unsigned articles, essays, news reports, reviews and other items published in Ripperologist are the responsibility of D’Onston Stephenson: From Robert to Roslyn Ripperologist and its editorial team. We occasionally use material we believe has been placed Mike Covell in the public domain. It is not always possible to identify and contact the copyright holder; if you claim ownership of some- A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to the Panto. . . thing we have published we will be pleased to make a prop- Jane Coram er acknowledgement. The contents of Ripperologist No. 98 December 2008, includ- The Really Big Show of Autumn 1888? ing the compilation of all materials and the unsigned articles, essays, news reports, reviews and other items are copyright © Christopher T. George 2008 Ripperologist. The authors of signed articles, essays, let- ters, news reports, reviews and other items retain the copyright Getting Off on the Wrong Foot of their respective contributions. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No A Christmas Fable part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval Don Souden system, transmitted or otherwise circulated in any form or by any means, including digital, electronic, printed, mechani- cal, photocopying, recording or any other, without the prior permission in writing of Ripperologist. The unauthorised Regulars reproduction or circulation of this publication or any part thereof, whether for monetary gain or not, is strictly pro- Press Trawl hibited and may constitute copyright infringement as defined in domestic laws and international agreements and give rise to Chris Scott returns with more from the news from the 19th century civil liability and criminal prosecution. News and Views I Beg to Report Reviews The New Annotated Dracula, The London of Jack the Ripper: Then and Now, The Maybrick A to Z, and The Riddle Ripping Yarns A round up of reviews from 2008 RIPPEROLOGIST MAGAZINE PO Box 735, Maidstone, Kent, UK ME17 1JF. contact@ripperologist.bizEditorial Team Consultants Advertising Stewart P. Evans; Loretta Lay; Donald Rumbelow; Advertising in Ripperologist costs £50.00 for a full Stephen P. Ryder page and £25.00 for a half-page. All adverts are fullExecutive EditorAdam Wood colour and can include clickable links to your website or email.Editors SubscriptionsChristopher T George; Don Souden Ripperologist is published monthly in electronic for-Managing Editor mat. The cost is £12.00 for six issues. Cheques can SubmissionsJennifer Shelden only be accepted in £ sterling, made payable to We welcome articles on any topic related to Jack the Ripperologist and sent to the address above. The sim- Ripper, the East End of London or Victoriana. PleaseEditors-at-LargePaul Begg; Eduardo Zinna plest and easiest way to subscribe is via PayPal — send your submissions to send to Thank you!Contributing EditorChris ScottArt Director Back IssuesJane Coram Single PDF files of issue 62 onwards are available at £2 each.
  • 2. Editorial In My End Is My Beginning By Eduardo Zinna Winter is the bleakest, longest lingering season of the year. It is a time for sad tales and ashenskies, short-lived days and gloomy evenings, the sound of snow crunched underfoot, the glow ofdistant fires, the falling of light across barren fields. People grow sullen and morose in winter.Birds sing their songs in warmer lands; snakes and bats go into a dreamless sleep; plants and cropsweaken, wither and die. The landscapes of winter are alien and forlorn. Hans Andersen recalls theSnow Queen’s castle, whose walls were of the driven snow and whose windows and doors were ofthe biting winds, and where a child’s heart was a lump of ice. Plutarch tells of a faraway landwhere the cold is so intense that words freeze as soon as they are spoken, and after some timethaw and become audible, so that words spoken in winter go unheard until spring. Every season remembers the seasons that came before it and longs for those to come. The harshest winter has mem-ories of summer and dreams of spring. Under the frozen, hardened earth, seditious life thrives. The soil grows richerand more nourishing; seeds prepare to sprout, bulbs to open, buds to unfurl. As the world goes deeper into darkness,it comes closer to light; as it goes deeper into death, it comes closer to rebirth. Each day is born at dawn, lives throughnoon and dies at dusk. The seasons succeed one another. The old gods are born, live, die, descend into the underworldand are reborn. In their end is their beginning. In ancient times, people dispensed with the rigours of astronomy. For them, winter did not begin with the wintersolstice, on 21 December, to end three months later with the vernal equinox; it began in early November, as soon asthe sun grew weaker and the days shorter and colder, and ended in February, when a faint intimation of future warmthcoloured the frosty air. The solstice marked midwinter — the moment when the wheel of the year is at its low point,ready to rise again. In London, in the autumn of 1888, a man killed. No one knows how many times he killed or why. Only the womenhe killed saw his face, heard his voice and, perhaps, knew his name. He came by night and vanished with daylight. Aswinter set in, he vanished forever. For a few weeks they continued to fear him. Then came the rituals of midwinter,when love and joy are strongest and the demons of the soul are banned. Christmas came and men and women dreamedof peace on earth. As winter waned and spring slowly waxed, darkness and fear dissolved. Life began again. The man who killed is long dead, as anonymous in death as he was in life. He left no trace of his presence, no recordof his thoughts. Yet many imagined him and told tales about him. They called him by one name and many names. Theydressed him in formal attire or a cutaway jacket, an opera cloak or a woollen overcoat, a top hat or a cloth cap. Somegave him a black Gladstone bag to carry in his white-gloved hand. They all gave him a sharp knife and cold, cruel eyes.His name, his real name, is neither known nor remembered. But the wraithlike, terrifying shape that haunts the nar-row, fog-bound alleyways of London’s East End has never been forgotten. In the dead of night, when fires burn low andthe wind blows outside, his pale figure, his atrocious crimes and the terror he wrought are remembered. Perhaps theyalways will. In his end was his beginning. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 1
  • 3. The Cremers Memoirs :Another Crumbled PillarBy Howard Brown One of the five major elements or pillars which comprised the edifice supporting the now widely discredited Ripper suspect Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s candidacy was the 1930s exchange of com- munication between reporter and author Bernard O’Donnell and Baroness Vittoria Cremers, an inti- mate of Stephenson’s. The exchange of information between O’Donnell and Cremers, of which there is no tangible evidence left, to our knowledge, may be found in the body of work compiled over a 30-year period (from roughly 1930 to 1958) in what is known as the “O’Donnell Manuscript.” We have no idea whether Mr. O’Donnell ever intended to publish this tome, which is 370 pages long and is delineated into ten chapters, but we do have it available to us today on one of the major Ripper web- sites, Bernard O’Donnell Within the tome are the recollections of Mrs. Cremers, transcribed by Mr. O’Donnell, known as the “Cremers Memoirs.” Mrs. Cremers had also been an intimate of Aleister Crowley, the notorious British occultist, and it was from Crowley that O’Donnell first heard of Mrs.Cremers’s story a few years prior to the development of Mr. O’Donnell’s work in 1930. Another version of Cremers’s story appeared in the form of a newspaper article in the November 30th, 1929, East Anglian Daily Times, written by a former Parisian policeman, Pierre Girouard. Little of value can be taken from this latter article, as most of it is a mishmash of other stories, mis- remembered or haphazardly constructed for the reader. A copy of this article may be found on pages 141-143 of The True Face of Jack The Ripper by the late Melvin Harris. Work still needs to be undertaken to determine whether all of what Mrs. Cremers offers within the O’Donnell Manuscript actually came from her without some rearrangement. Not that anything was added to her statements, but perhaps some of the dialogue was rearranged by Mr. O’Donnell to give the reader a more entertaining story overall. The Cremers Memoirs pillar stood somewhat on its own in the previous attempts to make Robert D’Onston Stephenson a viable Ripper suspect. It 1 You, the reader, may read the document in its entirety free without any required enlisting or joining JTRForums.Com Ripperologist 98 December 2008 2
  • 4. is a wholly independent and ostensibly factual recounting of the year-and-a-half relationship between Cremers and Stephenson, who by the fall of1889 (actual start of the liaison date is unknown) had been living near to oractually with Minna Mabel Collins (the British theosophist and author of theBlossom and the Fruit and other Theosophist novels), in Southsea, England.All three went into a business relationship selling cosmetics in 1890, thefirm being named (and who came up with the name is unknown) ThePompadour Cosmetique Company, with its office on Baker Street in London. Let us begin with Mrs. Cremers’s comments on her interest in theWhitechapel Murders. From what she stated, she had only a marginal inter-est in the murders, gleaning whatever she knew about the murders fromthe headlines of the various tabloids. She lived in London in 1888 and thenwent abroad, not returning until February 1890. It is interesting to notethat no one—until now, perhaps—has considered that there actually mayhave been an earlier understanding that Cremers and Collins would go intobusiness together without Stephenson, and quite possibly into the realm ofpresenting fashion shows. Collins, as I have found through my own research,did write articles for London newspapers regarding fashion expositions in Madame Helena Blavatskythe city. Although Cremers never received a reply from Collins to herrequest in 1889 about a business and pleasure arrangement, it may wellhave been agreed upon when Cremers and Collins met in March of 1890 before any subsequent business “idea” had beenthrown in D’Onston’s direction. Cremers, like Collins, had been a Theosophist devotee of Helena Blavatsky, the guru of global Theosophy. Cremers men-tions that it was in December of 1888, probably within the early part of that month, when she chanced to hear the twoKeightley brothers, Bertram and Archibald (two leading representatives of theosophy), and Mme. Blavatsky poring overthe recent article in the Pall Mall Gazette from December 1st (the front page story), entitled, “The Whitechapel Demon’sNationality and Why He Committed The Murders,” written by someone using the nom de plume, “One Who Thinks HeKnows”. Cremers observed that the three felt that the author of this piece was the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres2 and thatthe three occultists were particularly interested in the “black magic” angle on which the author of the piece focused.Cremers, as mentioned, was not interested in the Whitechapel Murders, and let the incident slip her mind until sometimelater. Mabel Collins, likewise, felt that the author might well have been the Earl. It might seem to modern readers that Cremers, who one would assume had more than a marginal interest in occultistevents, also would have been as interested in the Whitechapel Murders as the readers of this article. But, according toCremers herself, she was indifferent to the East End crimes that had captivated the British people and in fact, the entireworld, in the fall of 1888. This is not the sole instance in our study of Cremers (of whom no known photograph exists—save for a nearly impossible to obtain caricature drawn by Aleister Crowley), where she displays an indifference that issomewhat disturbing, if at all real. Without reproducing the body of the Cremers Memoirs, available on Jack The Ripper Forums, I will bring up some ofthe more important aspects of the Cremers dialogue for your perusal. I am sure you will see the absurdity of theseMemoirs. Not, perhaps, as fully as I do, but at least so in several areas that defy common sense and rational behavior,2 Debate exists whether Balcarres actually was an occultist and perhaps in the future the truth to the matter will emerge. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 3
  • 5. regardless of any high falutin ‘worldview’ preached by a rank and file Theosophy hanger-on. Cremers was a virtual nonentity in the world of Theosophy and no known work was ever produced during her years involved with this coterie of oddballs from the Leisure Class. Before I begin, allow me to point out that the real author of the Pall Mall Gazette article was Robert D’Onston Stephenson, using one of a handful of nom de plumes he would employ in writing his vari- ous, if all too few, articles during his life. It is noteworthy to mention that there are at least four errors in the December 1st piece. Let us now look briefly at what “One Who Thinks He Knows”, did not know. That is, the author claimed: 1. That the author of the Goulston Street message left the infamous twelve-word message over the body in Mitre Square near the spot where Mrs. Catherine Eddowes was found—it was left on Goulston Street. 2. That a certain portion of a harlot was necessary to implement a “black magic ritual” and that was the intent of the WhitechapelSir Charles Warren examining the Goulston Street Graffito Murderer. This is false. There are no known rituals that need oremploy organs or portions of dead prostitutes to fabricate black magic rituals.3. That the Whitehall Mystery was part and parcel of the Whitechapel Murders and with this murder site in mind,Stephenson constructed a “cross” within his article and by adding this atrocity to the existing Whitechapel murders, heoffered up seven victims of the same killer. While it is impossible to prove that the Whitechapel Murderer did not performthe dismemberment of the torso found in the basement of Scotland Yard, it is overwhelmingly unlikely. Few have evercontemplated that the Whitehall Mystery was indeed linked to the Whitechapel Murder Case.4. The fourth error is the lead-pipe cinch assumption by Stephenson, and likewise one or two other researchers who havepromoted Stephenson as the Ripper, that the second word in the Goulston Street message was written in cursive. Fromthis, Stephenson (and the researchers) arrived at the conclusion that was that this word could have indicated Juives. Andthat is the seminal gist of Stephenson’s article: That a Frenchman committed the murders. The October 8th missive from Sir Charles Warren to Home Secretary Matthews does employ cursive type, written in fivelines. However, Stephenson was not and could not have been privy to this official police document. It remains to be seenwhether the actual writing on the wall was in script or in cursive and regardless, two independent police officers at theactual location, Detective Constable Halse of the City police and P Long of the Metropolitan police, both indicated that .C.the word contained a “u” (Juews, by Long as opposed to Juwes, by Halse). Stephenson, confined to the Currie Ward inthe London Hospital on or around October 16th, 1888, wrote an earlier version of the December 1st article, when heoffered up his version of events to the City of London police, dated October 16th,1888. Needless to say, he was not at thescene at the Wentworth Model Dwellings, when the message was found, on Sept. 30th, 751888. It is worth bearing in mind these four (and possibly other, more minute) errors within the “hospital bed” version ofevents transpiring on the streets of the East End written by D’Onston, when we encounter the following statement by Mrs.3 The True Face of Jack The Ripper, Melvin Harris, 1994, Michael OMara Books, Limited, p.244. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 4
  • 6. Cremers3 “Who but the murderer himself could possibly know the thingsD’Onston has told me?” Coupled with the “indifference” she mentionedearlier to the actual reports describing the horrific details of the murdersback in 1888, it is not hard to see how Cremers could be persuaded toaccept that what D’Onston told her was an accurate accounting of themurders. Mrs. Cremers did not know that Stephenson was in the London Hospitalin late 1888 when the murders transpired. She did know he was in thefacility in 1889 and it was because of the two articles D’Onston submit-ted in January and February of 1889 to the Pall Mall Gazette that MabelCollins eventually liased with Stephenson. Let us now look briefly at some of the pronouncements—one of whichwill be a first-ever observation made by this researcher—and statementsfound within the Cremers Memoirs. We are told, by Cremers, that Collins referred to Stephenson as a won-derful magician at the outset of their relationship. However, at no timeduring the entire period covered by Mrs. Cremers’s memoirs doesStephenson so much as pull a rabbit out of a hat. There simply is no evi-dence within the Cremers Memoirs that suggests Stephenson practicedany magic, far less black magic. Either in front of Cremers or anyoneelse—period. In fact, the only time Stephenson discusses black magic is inthe ridiculously fictional accounts of exploits he claims to have experi-enced in 1896, in Borderland, a magazine published by the one time editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, W. T. Stead. We learn from Cremers that there were “many quarrels” between Collins and Stephenson because of the “inability ofD’Onston to forget Ada”. It may come to a surprise to the reader, but the “Ada Louise” story which may be found in the1892 article published by Stead once more, in Review of Reviews, New Year’s Extra Number and entitled, “Dead Or Alive”is just another rehashing of an old English “lovers story” that predates D’Onston’s rendition by many years, entitled, “TheLovers of Porthangwartha”. That’s right. This Ada Louise is a fictional individual. Whatever the quarrel betweenStephenson and Collins was about, its hard to understand why or how a fictional story and fictional character—one hewould write about for Stead within a year’s time—could cause the degree of tension between these two. We learn from Cremers that D’Onston casually told her one fine day some very revealing inside information regardingCremers and her relationship with Collins. This was potent enough to incense Cremers (living with Jack The Ripper appar-ently wasn’t alarming enough, one surmises) to the point where she confronted Collins and from that point on the Cremers-Collins relationship was little more than The logo for the Pompadour Cosmetic Company superficial, as was Cremers’s with Stephenson. That she became as angry with Collins and Stephenson because of this betrayal of trust is not hard to under- stand. Yet, where is the shock and revulsion when she believes he is Jack The Ripper? We now move on to the most contentious issue of the whole of the Cremers Memoirs, which is the dis- covery of some stained and soiled ties in a black enamel deed box that the less-than-agile Cremers Ripperologist 98 December 2008 5
  • 7. complained of bumping her shin on from time to time in the offices of the Pompadour Cosmetique Co. back in the neigh-borhood of Sherlock Holmes’ old digs, Baker Street. Curious as to the real surname of Stephenson (of which I am of the opinion that Collins and Cremers really knew, butthat’s for another time and article), we learn that their attempts at ascertaining his true identity were stymied, but nev-ertheless Cremers was compelled to investigate two items, one a deed box and the other a trunk in which Stephensonkept his possessions. The trunk was opened at one point and letters that Collins had originally sent Stephenson wereremoved and given back to Collins by Cremers, eventually resulting in a legal suit brought against Collins by Stephensonthat was ultimately dropped. The other item is the legendary black enamelled deed box. From this box, the 100-year-oldsaga of bloody cravats or ties has encouraged Ripperologists to take a serious look at the potential complicity ofStephenson in the Ripper murders. One afternoon, Cremers recalled, tackled the deed box, but her first attempt at opening it failed. She didn’t have thekey required to open the box. What she also mentioned—and bear in mind that this has never been mentioned before inprint until this researcher recently stumbled upon it—is that that there were two locks on the deed box.4 Nothing wasever mentioned before about the two locks problem until now. Before I proceed, one mini-mystery in the reading of these memoirs is why Cremers was so intensely interested in the“true” identity of D’Onston. For some reason, this interest and disbelief is never explained at all in the whole of theO’Donnell Manuscript, because neither Cremers or Collins believed his surname was D’Onston as he evidently stated itwas. This is a mystery in itself. Why would they doubt his surname in the first place? But, for now, let us go back to thatdeed box. Possessing a previously unacknowledged talent for locksmithing, Cremers, armed only with her observation as to whattype of lock was on the box (as she left the actual box back at Baker Street), scoured the neighborhood for a shop fromwhence she could find an appropriate key. Her attempts were to no avail. She then went into another, undisclosed, neighborhood, whereupon, Eureka! She miraculously discovered the right key!There’s just one problem. How did she open the second lock? Up until this point in time, this seeming gaffe by Cremershas never been mentioned. It makes everything to follow even more suspicious and makes one question whether this dis-covery ever transpired in the first place. Giving Cremers the benefit of the doubt, it is noteworthy that at the time she first spied the ties or cravats at the bot-tom of Stephenson’s deed box it contained, according to Cremers, books on magic and other subjects and the impressionis given that it is a rather deep box. She did not, however, mention that the ties appeared to be blood stained! Stephenson,of course, provided her with the basis of what she ultimately referred to as blood on those ties when she liased withCrowley years later. There’s no evidence, and I’m confident none will ever be forthcoming, to demonstrate what was actu-ally on those ties, be it water or wine—or the blood of harlots. Nor, for that matter, is there any evidence that the ties-in-the-deed-box story ever really happened. Once she were of the opinion that she was in fact sharing living space (she, on the third floor, he, on the first) with“Jack The Ripper” in the building on Baker Street, one would think that even the most blase and indifferent Theosophistwould hightail it out of town for fear of being suspected of any shenanigans regarding touching Stephenson’s personal pos-sessions. And if there were no enough, the knowledge of Stephenson’s possible complicity in the Whitechapel Murdersplight to have had her running for safety. Yet, nothing of the sort transpires. Cremers’s indifference to his being Jack The Ripper is astounding. Like her previousindifference to the reports and details of the murders some 18 months prior, her indifference to actually being around and4 The True Face of Jack The Ripper, Melvin Harris, 1994, Michael OMara Books, Limited, p.77 Ripperologist 98 December 2008 6
  • 8. conversing with Jack The Ripper is unfathomable. She, in her ownwords, accepts that since Donston-as-Ripper has told her that no moremurders would occur that was sufficient for her to not worry one bitas to any future murders of strangers and/or intimates in the BigSmoke. Thank goodness, for that, eh? She easily moves from the extreme act of burgling his deed box todiscover his “true” identity to a feeling of serenity that he would nolonger kill again on the streets of Whitechapel and, moreover, acceptsliving in the same building as Jack The Ripper. Read that last sentenceten times to get the full impact of the absurdity of her behavior Cremers and D’Onston-as-Ripper dissolved their relationship aroundthe summer of 1891. The final event in their relationship occurred,according to Cremers, this way. Cremers lived at 21 Montague Place ina residence managed by a Mrs. Heilmann. Somehow—and we do notknow how—D’Onston found out where she was living and began to slipnotes to Mrs. Cremers under the door of 21 with requests for money.She rejected and dismissed the three or four requests up until thepoint where D’Onston appeared to bear his fangs. The last note left by Stephenson read, in part, “I would not fail ifI were you . . . keep this to yourself.” The last section was underlined. Aleister Crowley, One wonders, however, if these events ever occurred, since the let-ters could have been picked up by any of the other (at least four) boarders in Mrs. Heilmann’s building. And by virtue ofthis fact, someone else picking up any of the four letters may have responded by calling the police to investigate whatwas obviously (to any unknowing party) a threatening letter. Cremers became aware of the unmarked missives throughStephenson’s handwriting and that he was on the mooch for money from the Baroness, now living in an apartment houselike a commoner. The final episode in this letters event finds Cremers being asked to meet Stephenson-the-Ripper at midnight—and todo so alone. Spooky stuff, perhaps, to you or me, but to the ballsy Baroness, it is standard fare. She, after all, is com-pletely indifferent to the 1888 murders, so why should one more rendezvous with the Ripper disturb her, I hear you say. Mrs. Heilmann is apprised of the situation and suggests with good common sense that Cremers should notify the police.But Cremers decides against this sensible maneuver and asks two men who live in the Heilmann boarding house to standguard in the alcove just in case D’onston has something violent up his sleeve. Sure enough, D’Onston shows up and is handed a sovereign, a full pound. He originally asked for only a half-crown (2s6d), which puzzled Cremers, who by the tone and insistency of D’Onston’s missives had expected a rather heftier sumbeing requested. He turns away and walks away into the pitch black midnight . . . never more to see Cremers. She confided all this to Aleister Crowley, who had undoubtedly heard of the deed box and ties story from her, as shewas his secretary some time later early in the 20th Century and from this collaboration with Crowley, the seed was plant-ed for the inevitable Bernard O’Donnell manuscript. From her “experiences” with this bogus Jack The Ripper, the momentum to make this hack fiction writer, but aboveall innocent man, the Whitechapel Murderer fulfilled itself in 1988, when Melvin Harris proudly introduced the world to5 The True Face of Jack The Ripper, Melvin Harris, 1994, Michael OMara Books, Limited, p. 84 Ripperologist 98 December 2008 7
  • 9. this alleged occultist, doctor, Satanist, venereal diseased, intrepid world traveler and consort to prostitutes from Hull toHanbury Street on the Centennial year (1988) television program, “Secret Identity Of Jack The Ripper”, hosted by PeterUstinov and featuring Ripperologists Martin Fido and Donald Rumbelow. From then on, three books promoting him specif-ically used these very same Cremers’ memoirs as some sort of proof he was not only an extremely plausible suspect, butthat he practiced black magic. Neither accusation is correct. How did Vittoria Cremers, who died in 1936, rationalize her behavior after “discovering” D’Onston Stephenson wasJack The Ripper? Let us remember once more these words that Melvin Harris stated rather boldly were “sound reason-ing”:5 I am a Theosophist. I believe that whatever we do upon this plane we shall reap our deserts [sic] in the next incar-nation. I believe that we shall be rewarded or punished according to our life on earth. It is not for me to interfere withthe laws which govern destiny. I did not do it then, I would do it now. You will remember that D’Onston had alreadyassured me in the clearest possible terms that there would be no more Ripper murders and that the last one had beencommitted on 9 November, 1888. He had spoken truly; there were no Ripper murders during the 21 months which hadelapsed between that date and the time of our talk. Consequently I felt quite certain that, being the murderer, he knewwhat he was talking about. That there would be no more murders by Jack The Ripper. I knew that there was no dangerto others.ReferencesThe True Face of Jack The Ripper, Melvin Harris, 1994, Michael OMara Books, Limited.The O’Donnell Manuscript, unpublished but available for reading and research at Written byBernard O’Donnell, circa 1958.AcknowledgementsNina BrownJohn SavageMark FranzoiMike CovellGraham WilsonSpiro DimolianisRobert Linfordand last, but not least, Jon “Big Jon” Rees , of JTR Howard Brown (seen with his wife and fellow Ripperologist Nina Brown) was born in Philadelphia 55 years ago and is the father of 2 daughters & 3 grandsons. He has worked in the plastics manufacturing field for 33 years and has lived in Alabama,Virginia,and Texas. He has also coached hockey, driven a taxi, been a logger, a short order cook, is a member of MENSA and has never been so much as fingerprinted by the police, despite his notorious bad behavior. He is a direct descendant of two signers of the Declaration of Independence (Read & Stockton), but is an ardent Anglophile... He is a hardcore Ripperologist who enjoys scouring newspapers from the LVP and also discussing the history of Robert DOnston Stephenson. Along with his wife, he intends to write a book on the history of Stephenson during 2009. He is the owner of Jack The Ripper Forums ( and a supporter of He regularly appears on Jon Menges Rippercast podcast radio pro- gram each Sunday. His one wish this Yule season is for continued good health for his close friend and Ripperologist, Mike Covell of Hull, England. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 8
  • 10. D’Onston Stephenson: From Robert to Roslyn By Mike Covell In April 1841, Richard and Isabella Dawber Stephenson had been married for 10 years. They already had two sons, William and Richard, and two daughters, Isabella and Elizabeth, when Isabella gave birth to their fifth child, Robert Donston Stephenson on 20 April. The birth took place at the family home, 35 Charles Street in the parish of Sculcoates, Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorkshire. As we can see, Isabella Stephenson was a mother and housewife to an already expanding family when infant Robert was born.1 Just over three weeks later, on 16 May 1841, the new baby was christened at St. Mary’s Church in the parish of Sculcoates. The entry in the parish register is straightforward: 1 1841 Census HO107/1232 F583 P30.Period view of Charles Street, Kingston-upon-Hull,Yorkshire: a look at the street where RobertD’Onston Stephenson was born.Courtesy of Mike Covell. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 9
  • 11. Entry showing the christening of Robert D’Onston Stephenson. Courtesy of Mike Covell. Child’s Christian Name, Robert Donston Parent’s Name, Christian, Richard and Isabella Surname, Stephenson Abode, Charles Street Quality, Trade, or Profession, Oil and Bone Merchant By whom the Ceremony was performed, Ed. Ward.2 Richard Stephenson was a partner in the firm of Dawber and Stephenson, oil, cake and bone merchants and crush- ers.3 The business relied heavily on the whaling industry and because of this was situated on the north side of what is now Queen’s Gardens. The new child’s birth certificate states he was born at 35 Charles Street, on 20 April 1841 to Isabella Stephenson (formerly Dawber) and Richard Stephenson. Richard Stephenson’s occupation is listed as ‘Seed Crusher’—a popular term still in use today, and a line of business in which the present author’s father happens to be employed.4 According to the birth certificate it took the family until the 27 May 1841 before the birth was registered. The child was registered under the name Robert Donston Stephenson, no sign of the apostrophe that would enter his middle name in later life. It might seem strange to us today that a family would baptise the child before registering his birth, but with Victorian 2 BAPTISMS solemnized in the Parish of SCULCOATES, in the County of YORK, in the Year 1841, When Baptized, 1841, 16 May, p 304, no. 2411. 3 1838 White’s Vol 2 lists. Dawber and Stephenson, Oil, Cake and Bone Merchants and Crushers, Church Street and North Side Old Dock. 4 Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s birth certificate. A ‘Seed Crusher’ is a man who works in the seed crushing industry. The industry takes hops, rape seed, and corn and heats it, usually in a kiln or kettle, then applies pressure through the use of stone or steam presses. As the seed is crushed, oil is produced. The oil can be used for food, as a lubricant, or for agricultural purposes. Several seed crushing mills still exist in Hull. My father works at one such establishment—a converted Victorian mill.Copy of birth certificate of Robert D’OnstonStephenson. Courtesy of Mike Covell. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 10
  • 12. childhood mortality rates being as high as they were, I can understand the family waiting to register the birth. The trend seems to remain as Robert Donston Stephenson appears in several census entries and newspaper reportsas either R. D. Stephenson or Robert Donston Stephenson. An entry in the guestbook of the Black Lion Hotel inBridlington though lists a Robert D’Onston Stephenson.5 Another entry appears in 1869 when the local Trade Directory lists the staff of the Hull Custom’s House. Under the headingof ‘Clerks’ we see R. D’Ouston Stephenson, an entry written in 1868, as Stephenson had been relieved of his post by this time.6 Where did the name Roslyn come from? By 1871, Robert D’Onston Stephenson had moved out of his parents’ house and was using an alias, Roslyn D.Stephenson.7 Could it be that Stephenson, now a free man, had changed his name to the mystical ‘Roslyn’ to reinforcehis supposed beliefs about the occult and black magic, as some have said?8 Or is there some other explanation? It has been Stephenson selected the name as a nod to Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. But would a man with such knowl-edge of religion and esoteric beliefs get the spelling wrong? Furthermore, if D’Onston Stephenson truly was the most powerful Black Magician of all time, why would he choosea name that has deeply religious connections? Perhaps then ‘Roslyn’ was selected for another reason. As is well known, Stephenson would develop into a publishedwriter. Could it be that the real reason that Robert D. Stephenson selected the name ‘Roslyn’ was that it representedthe adoption of a pen name for an up-and-coming writer and journalist? The Case of Robert Stephanus Robert Stephanus was born in Paris, France, in 1503 and went by several names including Robert Estienne and RobertStephens.9 Robert Stephens was the pen name he used in 1551 when he successfully divided the New Testament of the Bibleinto readable verses.10 Could it be that the man who was born Robert Donston Stephenson altered his name to avoid confusion with RobertStephanus? In the Explanatory Preface to Roslyn D’Onston’s 1904 book, The Patristic Gospels, he mentions that ‘. . . I have there-fore retained, so far as possible, the old verse order of Robert Stephanus. . .’11 The Dawber Family Connection During the 1860’s, the Dawber family moved into Linnaeus House, known locally as Sunnyside House, which stands proudlytoday on Linnaeus Street off Anlaby Road in West Hull. The house is a large building and stands within its own grounds. The earliest mention of the family residing there appears in 1866, when Richard Stephenson Sr. applies for the job as WaterBailiff and Reciever of Corporation Dues and lists Robert Dawber as a character reference.12 By the following year, Joseph Dawberis also listed as residing at the property.13 By 1871, the Dawber family are listed as residing at Sunnyside House, Linnaeus Street. Maps of the area for 1854 show no properties in the immediate area, so we must assume that the building was builtbetween 1854 and 1866, all prior to Robert D’Onston Stephenson adopting the name ‘Roslyn’ and all prior to him leav-ing Hull for London, where he appeared in the 1871 Census under the alias.14 Sunnyside House stood on the western side of Linnaeus Street and and probably received the name due to the passageof the sun from rising to setting, which would have bathed the rear of the house in its warm glow. Immediately next toSunnyside House stood two smaller private residences, with little information on who resided there, or of when they werebuilt. 5 Bridlington Free Press, Monday 11 July 1868. 6 Mercer and Crocker’s Directory and General Gazetteer of Hull 1869 lists R. D’Ouston Stephenson. 7 1871 Census Class: RG10; Piece: 368; Folio: 40; p 20, GSU roll, 824612. 8 For example, see Melvin Harris, The True Face of Jack the Ripper. London: Michael O’Mara Books, 1994, and Ivor Edwards, Jack the Ripper’sBlack Magic Rituals. London: John Blake Publishing Ltd., 2002. 9 See See Roslyn D’Onston, The Patristic Gospels. London: Grant Richards Publishing, 1904, p vii.12 Dated 12 January 1866.13 1867 Trade Directory of Hull lists, Joseph Dawber, Solicitor, Tenny and Dawber Solicitors, Linnaeus Street.14 1871 Census, Class, RG10, P4796, F43, P5, GSU roll 847351 Ripperologist 98 December 2008 11
  • 13. Further down the street, less than 200 feet from Sunnyside House, stands a row of Victorian terraced town houses,all with spacious front and rear yards, communal entries, and an array of greenhouses and garden sheds. This row ofterraced houses, like many others in the area during the period, has a name: Roslyn Villas! There is nothing in the immediate area to indicate why this name was chosen. There is in the neighbourhood, no streetor avenue bearing the name. It must be assumed that the terrace was named after a local builder, as it was fairly commonplace to do so with several examples still in existence in the ‘old town’ area of the city of Hull. When the Stephenson fam-ily visited the Dawber family, they would have seen and known about the named terrace of villas just yards down the street. Some other possibilities for the origin of the name ‘Roslyn’ admittedly do exist in the Hull area. In a listing for 1892,there appears a Roslyn House on Cottingham Road, home of Henry Moor, managing director, Moor’s and Robson’sBreweries Ltd.15 Cottingham Road is about 3.4 miles from Linnaeus Street and is home to Hull University. The area isquite a ‘Victorian honeypot’ with numerous houses still standing from the period. I am currently investigating when thehouse was built and if there might be a connection to Roslyn Villas. Hull does have a Roslyn Road, which is just off Anlaby Road and about 1.8 miles away from Linnaeus Street, so it isquite possible there is a connection. That having been said, Roslyn Road is quite a recent road, and would have beenbuilt around the first decade of the 1900’s, or possibly later. Another local road, Roslyn Crescent, is about 6.5 miles from Linnaeus Street in the ancient village of Hedon. Thestreet is off the main street which links several of the villages, but it appears to be quite modern, with cul-de-sacs andpost-World War II houses. The search for the origin of Stephenson’s adoption of the name ‘Roslyn’ continues.15 ‘Hull Trades and Professions by Alphabetical Street (1892), Letter N‘ House, Linnaeus Street, Kingston-upon-Hull, today, once home to the Dawber family, Stephenson’s mother’s family.Photograph by Mike Covell. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 12
  • 14. Above: Period view showing street repairs being carried out in Linnaeus Street; the metal gates belong to the Dawber family residence,Sunnyside House. Courtesy of Mike Covell.Below: A view of Linnaeus Street at the turn of the century. Courtesy of Mike Covell. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 13
  • 15. Conclusion In my opinion, the evidence presented shows that Robert D’Onston Stephenson adopted the pen name of RoslynD’Onston so as not to confuse his readers with the earlier work of Robert Stephens. It is highly likely that he selectedthe name not because of any black magic or occult reason, but simply because it was the name of a location close tohis grandparents’ house in Kingston-upon-Hull. We will leave the last word to Robert D’Onston Stephenson. In the Explanatory Preface to The Patristic Gospels,Stephenson mentions reading the ‘Revised Edition’ of the Bible,16 which he abbreviates as ‘R.V.’: Of course, I know that I must first satisfy the scholars, and that I hope to do fully; but from twenty years’ experi-ence of the R.V., I am satisfied that there were two principle reasons why the people would not—and never will—takekindly to it.17 If the book appeared in 1904, as the book’s publication information would suggest, that means that Robert D’OnstonStephenson was reading the revised edition of the Bible as early as 1884, possibly even earlier depending upon whenhe wrote the preface. Does this mean that during the Whitechapel Murders, Stephenson was practicing Christianity, andnot black magic, as some have suggested? Mike Covell is a happily married father of two who lives in Kingston-upon-Hull. Mike has studied the ‘Whitechapel Mystery’ since he was a teenager, but diagnosed with a heart condition three years ago, he turned his attention to the case full time. Mike has two books on the way relating to the mystery and continues to share his research on the JTR and ‘Casebook: Jack the Ripper’ websites, as well as on his blog, which he tries to update weekly. He has appeared on the Ripper podcast on numerous occasions, and is also an historical advisor to the Hull-based paranormal investigations group Ghosttrackers.16 The New Testament version, commonly called the ‘Revised Version’ (RV) or the ‘English Revised Version’ (ERV) of 1881, was followed bythe Old Testament in 1885. See ‘English Revised Version of the Bible (1881–1895)’ at D’Onston, The Patristic Gospels, p vii. Detail of 1889 map showing Roslyn Villas, Linnaeus Street, Kingston- upon-Hull, less than 200 feet from Sunnyside House.
  • 16. A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to the Panto. . . By Jane Coram ‘He’s behind you!’ No, not Jack the Ripper, although it could well be someone almost as das-tardly — like Captain Hook, the Giant or the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham — the archetypalPantomime Villain. We Brits all love booing and hissing at the heinous characters who are tryingtheir best to get the better of our beloved panto heroes and heroines, but not nearly as much aswe love cheering the good guys on. It’s surprising that the tradition hasn’t spread to the rest of the world — although there are pockets of defiancearound the globe, such as in Australia, where the panto is very popular. Christmas pantomimes have been performed inCanada for as many years as there have been British residents that enjoy this type of theatre, and even the Swiss have had a go, but the main hotbed of pantomania is still the UK. It A 19th century pantomime poster, featuring the is a beloved institution, which brings out the best in people and characters of a Harliquinade. is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. People of all ages flock to theatres around the country every Christmas, although it is supposedly meant as a children’s entertainment. It’s not unknown for childless adults to kidnap unsuspecting neighbour’s kids so they can take them along with them as an excuse to go themselves. Many grown-ups will just pull their coat collars up, keep their heads down and sneak in, hoping that nobody notices them. So what is panto? Well, if we discount the classical Greek origins of the word, ‘pantomimos’,1 because it has little or nothing to to do with what is known as pantomime these days, then we can just about trace it back to Italy sometime before the 16th century. Then it was a troupe of actors, moving around the country, performing any kind of act they could muster to cater for the locals. The pantomime first arrived in England as a filler between opera pieces, but ended up being so popular they were given shows in their own right. 1 In Greece, the pantomimos was originally a solo dancer who ‘imitated all’ (panto — all, mi mos — mimic) accompanied by sung narrative and instrumental music, often played on the flute. The word later came to be applied to the performance itself. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 15
  • 17. The great clown Joseph Grimaldi (1778-1837), the most celebrated ofEnglish clowns, was responsible for actually making them into a story ofsome kind to link the performances, and many of the pantomime char-acters we have today originated there. Of course in those days, actresses didn’t exist — well, they existed, butthey never set foot on any stage. Women didn’t walk the boards until the17th century in England, at least, and the fuss it caused almost startedanother civil war. Even when they were eventually accepted, for some rea-son the pantomime still favoured some very odd, but endearing, crossgender characters. In Restoration England, a pantomime was considered a low form ofopera, but very popular with the unwashed masses, who could afford theprice of admission. In 1717 a man called John Rich,2 a theatrical manager,introduced the character ‘Harlequin’ to the British stage, performingsomething closer to the modern mime performances favoured by suchpeople as the great Marcel Marceau — well, Marceau overdosed on caf-feine — as the performances were pretty frantic to all accounts. The story revolves around the lives of its five main characters:Harlequin, Pierrot, Columbine, Clown, and Pantaloon. It included lots of Joseph Grimaldislapstick and silliness, which would probably leave us singularly unamused.Whilst the pantomime was still in its Harlequin form, ‘Tabs scenes’ or ‘transformation scenes’ were introduced as a wayof moving between the different sections of the pantomime, giving the stage hands a chance to move scenery. A cur-tain could be dropped at the front and the frantic scurrying behind the scenes could be covered by a necessarily noisypiece of mayhem at the front. Rather than just stopping one section and starting another, actors found ever more cre- ative and imaginative ways to continue the story until the neces- sary scenery changes had been made. Joseph Grimaldi as the archetypal clown As pantomime developed and stage technology became more advanced, the transformations became events in themselves. Scenery was flown in from above on wires or changed by a series of hinged flaps, smoke bombs were let off to cover the appear- ances of the villains, trap doors made demons disappear, and every cunning device invented was employed to trick and capti- vate the audience. The rivalry between the different London theatres in producing these kinds of entertainments was keen during the 18th century. John Rich adopted entertainments in the Italian style as the corner- stone for his new theatre at Lincoln’s Inn Fields (built 1714) in order to compete with the Drury Lane theatre (then under the 2 John Rich did not have a good speaking voice, but using the stage name of Lun he made Harlequin the star of the entertainments which he called ‘pan- tomimes’, playing him as a silent character who excelled in mimic dancing and physical comedy. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 16
  • 18. management of Colley Cibber).3 Rich’s pantomimes consisted of incredible stories with as many frills and embellisments as he could fit on the stage without causing permanent injury to the actors. There were fine costumes, elaborate dances, and everything was as over-the-top as possible, money no object. The Lincoln’s Inn Field Theatre and the Drury Lane Theatre were the first to stage something like real pantomimes as we know them today, although it is a matter of some debate as to when the pantomime actually started in the form we have now. The first ‘Cinderella’ pantomime in England was the 1804 production at Drury Lane, but there were certainly performances before that which could be recognizable as real pantomime. Most theatrical scholars, though, will say that the first true performance of Cinderella was in 1870. Augustus Harris, the manager of the Drury Lane theatre who took over his control of the theatre in 1879, is now considered the ‘father of mod- ern pantomime’, by most theatrical scholars. (See the following article on Augustus Harris.) Although pantomime changed its form dramatically during the 18th and 19th centuries, certain traditions still continued throughout its history. Tradition has it that ‘Good’ enters from stage right and ‘Evil’ from stage left. This seems to echo from medieval times, when the entrances to Original ‘Cinderella’ poster from the Drury Lane Theatre. (Late 19th century) Heaven and Hell were placed on these sides. Tradition also dictates that the pantomime villain should be the first to enter, followed by his adver-sary the Good Fairy. The job of the villain is to make all the innocent characters’ lives a total misery, from beginningalmost to end, with good winning out at the last minute through some fairly drastic act of heroism. Of course by theend of the show, all the baddies and their henchmen will have either Harlequin and Columbinebeen destroyed, or be made to see the error of their ways and turn intoreformed characters. Up until the mid-19th century, pantomimes were not specifically aChristmas entertainment, nor were they aimed at children, but wereaimed more at the adult audiences, bearing in mind that much of thehumour of the period was generally very unsophisticated and naive andwould be considered very childish by standards today — purely physicalslapstick humour rather than verbal humour, the only dialogue being atthe opening by way of introduction. There were, though, traditionalChristmas connections when travelling players, known as ‘Mummers’,played in the great manor houses for favours. Victorian pantomimes of the late nineteenth started to take on theirrecognisably modern form, with dialogue running all the way throughthe performance and the story lines becoming more established and3 Colley Cibber (1671–1757) was a British actor-manager, playwright, and Poet Laureate.His colourful memoir Apology for the Life of Colley Cibber (1740) started a British tra-dition of personal, anecdotal, and even rambling autobiography, which has been a treas-ure for theatrical historians as a souce of information on the18th century theatre. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 17
  • 19. shortened to accomodate a younger audience. This made it far more appealing for children, and gradually they becamethe predominant audience. With children making up a large percentage of the audience, pantomime became estab-lished as a holiday entertainment staged mainly at Christmas and Easter. By the beginning of the Edwardian era, a pantomime generally consisted of two parts. A fairy piece dramatising somewell-known children’s fairy tale, and a Harlequinade. Traditionally, a pantomime would open on Boxing Day and,depending on its success, run as long as early March or even April. Gradually Harlequinade grew less and less popular,and this was dropped from the performance and the true pantomime was born. True pantomime plots are very easy and simple - A girl will dress up as a boy, who is usually the son of a man dressed up as a woman, who will always win the othergirl (who surprisingly dresses as a girl) with the help of person(s) dressed in animal skins. You can’t beat that for a plot. There are a number of traditional story-lines, all based on fairy tales, although recently there have been a few addi-tions, like the Wizard of Oz and even Frankenstein. They have even wheeled out a Dalek or two in a recent productionof Aladdin. Many of the story lines are those of the fairy stories by Charles Perrault, although thankfully they have beensanitized for the youngsters over the years and no longer do the Ugly Sisters in the story of Cinderella have to chop offtheir toes and dance themselves to death, and the body count has dropped considerably. Aladdin (sometimes combined with ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’ and/or other ‘Arabian Nights’ tales): This bears no resemblance whatsoever to the 1001 night story, and in fact often involves a blond Australian star from a soap opera in the title role of the Asian hero, complete with digeridoo and boomerang. There is still a genie in it, who is usually a famous wrestler, or one of the TV Gladiators, and the special effects and lighting people have a great deal of fun, finding inventive ways to get them out of the lamp and even more inventive ways to get them back into it. Cinderella The most popular of all pantomimes, complete with Wicked Stepmother, Ugly Sisters and Prince Charming. The main deviation from the original story line is the addition of the character ‘Buttons’, a servant in the house that falls desper- ately in love with Cinders, but who never gets more out of her than a peck on the cheek and a pat on the head. He usually ends up with one of the chorus as a consolation prize. The character of Buttons seems to have come from page boys, who were nicknamed ‘Buttons’ from the close-sewn rows of buttons on their uniforms. The character first appeared in 1860, given the Italian name of ‘Buttoni’, and underwent many changes of name from Chips, Alfonso, and Pedro, before settling down as the Baron’s trusty servant, Buttons. One version of the production in 1820 opened at Covent Garden. Entitled ‘Harlequin and Cinderella, or the lit- tle glass slipper’ it featured Grimaldi as the Baron’s wife. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 18
  • 20. Dick Whittington This was first staged as a pantomime in 1814, based on a 17th century play. The story revolves around a simple country lad who goes to London to seek his fortune, and on his way, meets a cat whom he befriends. Press-ganged to serve aboard a ship, heading for the Middle East, he becomes the ship’s hero when his cat kills all the rats on board. When news reaches the desperate Sultan, whose land is plagued by rats, Dick’s cat clears the land of rodents, presumably knackering himself in the process, and Dick returns to London a hero, eventu- ally becoming Lord Mayor of London. A tip there for Ken Livingstone. The panto sticks fairly closely to the original story, replete with a man-sized cat who apparently has lost the ability to meow and has to whisper his pearls of wisdom in Dick’s ear. The cat spends much of the panto chasing a rubber rat on a bit of string around the stage. The audience is often treated to a rat ballet some- where in the middle for good measure.Some of the most popular titles are: Jack and the Beanstalk This is usually a standard retelling of the tale, but often difficult tostage as 10-foot giants are usually hard to come by these days. The prob-lem is often solved by clever use of projection, or puppetry in the 21stcentury, whereas in times past, the Giant was just the biggest chap theycould find, with a very large papier mache head mask and a powerful setof neck muscles. Sleeping Beauty This is usually traditionally retold, with few extras, buta lot of comedy content. Following the rage for pantomimes, Pollock’s, a print-ers based in Hoxton in the East End, produced a ‘Do ityourself’ toy theatre, penny-plain and twopence-coloured, for children to stage their own pantomimes ona toy theatre. Sheets of characters were provided and‘Sleeping Beauty’ was a favourite. Children would pro-duce their own pantomimes for the family on festiveoccasions. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 19
  • 21. Snow White This usually follows closely to the Disney storyline, and bears little real resemblance to the original fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, the names created by Disney — Doc, Dopey, Sleepy, Grumpy, Happy, Sneezy and Bashful can’t be used, because it would breach copyright, and other names had to be found for them. The original version of the story didn’t give them names at all. Writing scripts for panto seems to be quite a lucrative business these days. Searching the net finds hundreds of web-sites, all selling panto scripts for a small fee, and varying from good to fairly dire. Most village halls and schools willput on a Christmas panto, some of which are surprisingly good. The show usually opens in a market square, with cardboard houses and a few peasants walking about with baskets,pretending to have a conversation, or singing ‘Who Will Buy This Wonderful Morning,’ or an appropriate (and often inap-propriate) song enthusiastically, to give the lead players a chance to get on stage and warm the audience up. There is always a supporting chorus and younger actors and actresses that play minor roles, and this is an importantfeature of the pantomime, because it gives youngsters a chance to get some experience in the theatre. Many estab-lished stars started in panto. The local stage school often provides these without payment as it is such good experiencefor them. Mums and dads often have to provide the costumes out of their own pocket, but never seem to mind. The first major player on is usually one of the supporting cast, to set the scene and tell the optimistic audience what Eve Gray starring as Cinderella in to expect. This is often the heroine’s father. the 1929 production One of the main attractions for the directors when producing a pan- tomime is that they can wheel out all the geriatric actors that used to be somebody once upon a time, who they can drag out of retirement to play one of the older character parts. These are usually bit-players from old TV comedy series, who shuffle across the stage and play such roles as Cinderella’s father, Baron Hardup, or Sleeping Beauty’s dotty old dad. This tradition of having a celebrity guest star dates back to the late 19th centu- ry, when Augustus Harris hired well-known variety artists for his pan- tomimes at Drury Lane. Many popular artists play in pantomimes across the country and these are mainly TV personalities, especially from soaps, who will have a trademark phrase or routine that they incorporate into the per- formance, even if it has nothing at all to do with the plot. Next we are introduced to the hero/heroine, who will tell us how miser- able they are because they haven’t got anyone to love, and how desperately short of money they are, and or how hard they have to work just to survive. The heroine could be Cinderella, Aurora or Snow White, always beautiful, always with a wonderful singing voice, and on one memorable occasion weighing several times as much as the Prince and almost flattening him when she ran into his arms. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 20
  • 22. The heroes are smaller in number, usually Aladdin or Jack of beanstalk fame —but they have the same wretched start as the heroines, the only difference beingthat don’t usually end up running into the Prince’s arms swearing their undyinglove. Once we’ve been introduced to hero/heroine the audience then get anotherlighthearted song from them along with the chorus, just to let the audience knowthat although they are miserable, they can still put a brave face on it. Over the years the leading lady of the pantomime would have been famousMusic Hall singers of the day, and it was a plum role for the younger, more attrac-tive songbirds. Marie Lloyd, ‘Queen of the Music Halls’, was a favourite leadinglady in pantomimes throughout her lifetime, changing roles from the youngerheroine to more mature parts as she grew older. Next on is the obligatory Pantomime Dame, who is almost always the hero’smother, and always a man, sporting a massively oversized fake chest and wearingso many bright colours that most cameras can’t cope with it. They spend most ofthe performance cradling their bosom, making jokes about it and giving out sageadvice that is always ignored. Often, the Wicked Queen is a man as well, and in many cases the Fairy Godmother hasmore than one wand tucked away in their clothing. The panto dame appears at various points in the pantomime, oftenjust to link scenes and give the stage hands a chance to change the scenery without getting a hernia. Traditonally the dame gets through more clothes in the course of the performance than any other character — cos-tumers can run riot with old curtain material making the outlandish costumes, and such characters as the Ugly Sistersin ‘Cinderella’ are bedecked with luminous monstrosities which defy description, but which are a joy to behold. GeorgeLacy is said to have started the tradition of the dame changing her costume constantly in 1923. The more bizarre theoutfit, the better. The role of the dame is to act as a friend to the hero and Dan Leno heroine, a good hearted but rather dim soul, who does her best to help but who invariably causes more trouble for them. She often ends up living happily ever after with either the Principal Girl’s kindly old widowed Father/Uncle/Guardian or with the ultimately-reformed Principal Baddie. They are played either in an extremely camp style, often but not exclusively by actors well-known for their homosexuality or effeminacy, or else by men acting ‘butch’ in women’s clothing. Dan Leno4 was one very famous pantomime dame. After see- ing him in music hall, the pantomime producer George Conquest signed him to appear as Dame Durden in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ at the Surrey Theatre, London in 1886. The following year Augustus Harris booked him to appear at Drury Lane, where he was to remain for the next sixteen years as star of pantomime. Productions included ‘Jack and the 4 Dan Leno was the greatest comedian of the Victorian Music Hall. His real name was George Galvin, and he was born in 1860. From 1886 to his death in 1904 he was immensely popular, pioneering the style of stand-up comedy which held sway until the gag-men of the 1930s took over. ‘The Archetypal Dame’ he brought to the part not just his comic genius and inventiveness, but great warmth and sympathy. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 21
  • 23. Beanstalk’, ‘Babes in the Wood’ and ‘Mother Goose’. It was at Drury Lane that the role of ‘Mother Goose’ was created for him, in which he effectively created the modern pan- tomime Dame. His entrance in bun-wig, shawl and button boots was to influence every pantomime dame that fol- lowed him. He arrived on stage sitting on a cart, pulled by two donkeys. On board was a crate of live geese. In virtually all of these productions he played the Dame to Marie Lloyd’s5 Principal Girl. Dan Leno is still considered, with Joseph Grimaldi, the finest of all pantomime performers. Unlike the dame, the Ugly Sisters in Cinderella are rather more ambiguous; part comedy support and part villains, they need to keep the audience hating them and loving them all at the same time. They usually have few redeem- ing qualities, but often end up as almost good, being for-The traditional Ugly Sisters — enough to put anyone off their cornflakes given by Cinderella and vowing to mend their ways. The ugly sisters are of course an intrinsic part of the Cinderella story; they seem to have been introduced in the 1860 pro- duction at the Strand Theatre. The traditional names for the ugly sisters were Clorinda and Thisbe, but their names have constantly changed to accommodate the fashions of passing times.These days such names as Buttercup and Daisy, Euthanasia and Asphyxia or Posh and Scary are used. The Principal Boy, usually Prince Charming in some guise, often doesn’t appear until a good way into the pantomime, usually wandering about in the woods with his friend looking for something to shoot, and trying to get away from the tedium of court life. The Principal Boy may or may not be a Vesta Tilley as Principal Boy boy at all. Tradition has it that the Principal Boy, such as Prince Charming, and Dandini, his faithful side kick, were always played by a girl, who invariably had better legs than the heroine. Nowadays, they seemed to have gone back to having men playing the lead male role, which is probably a good thing as kids are confused enough these days as it is. The woman playing the Principal Boy usually dresses in short, tight fitting skirts, which barely cover their differences, along with knee-high leather boots and fishnet stockings. This was nothing more than a good excuse for the repressed females in days of yore to show bits that would otherwise be well and truly hidden under long voluminous skirts and pas- sion-killer bloomers. The men got a chance to have a good ogle, without being slapped in the face by their wives. It was very common, in both Regency and Victorian produc- tions particularly, but nowadays the Principal Boys are mainly 5 Marie Lloyd was born Matilda Wood, in Hoxton on the 12th February 1870. In her teens, she adopted the name Marie Lloyd, and quickly became one of the most famous of English music hall singers and come- diennes. Her first major success was The Boy I Love is up in the Gallery. She was the eldest of nine siblings, seven of whom had theatrical careers, the most successful being Daisy, Rose, Grace, and Alice. All but Daisy performed under the name Lloyd in honour of their eldest sister. Lloyds songs, although perfectly harmless by modern standards, began to gain a reputation for being "racy" and filled with double entendres. She died on the 7th October 1922 (aged 52). Over one hundred thou- sand people attended her funeral at Hampstead. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 22
  • 24. men, so the women get a chance to have some eye candy as well. Eliza Povey was one of the first women to play the title role in Jack and the Beanstalk in 1819. The Principal Boy will usually bless us with a song at this point, just to demonstrate that the Prince has a good singing voice and is worth the money they are pay- ing him. Decades-old pop songs are reeled out, hopeful- ly with words appropriate to the scene, although you haven’t lived until you’ve heard Prince Charming singing ‘I’m In The Mood for Dancing,’ with a tree. Often the lyrics are rewritten for the occasion, which usually ends up as an even greater catastrophe.The audience are encouraged to sing along, which plummets the disaster to a whole new level. One half of the audience is chal- lenged to sing “their” chorus louder than the other half. Grannies strain their vocal chords to compete, and a Jack and the Beanstalk with Jack, his mother great time and laryngitis is had by all. and a rather dubious looking cow One intrinsic feature of the Pantomime is audience participation, including calls of ‘Look behind you!’ (or Hes behind you!), and ‘Oh, yes it is!’ or ‘Oh, no it isn’t!’ The audience is always encouraged to ‘Boo’ the villain, and ‘Awwwww’ the poor victims, such as the rejected dame, who usually fancies the prince. There would often be a ghost (one of the chorus, dressed in a sheet) stalking the hero or heroine and hiding behind trees to jump out on them. Sometimes there will be a short ballet by the children of the chorus in the middle somewhere, accompanied by the scraping and banging of scenery in the background. Then we come to one of the joys of the panto — the Panto Animal, particularly the cow, which principally appears in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. Two actors bent over double, dressed in a patched up old animal suit and trying desper- ately to keep in time with each other and go in the same direction. The poor sod at the back can’t see anything, although they do usually put eyeholes in the bottom part of the torso so that he at least has a chance of putting his feet in the right place and breathing now and again. It’s glorious, and an art form its own right. They often have to dance as well — something that certainly ought to give the kids nightmares for the rest of their lives. It is true to say, however, that some of the greats started theirHeaven only knows what’s going on in this modern version of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ careers by literally playing the back legs of the Pantomime horse. Many years ago at the Hippodrome Theatre, Stockport, the front end of the horse was a young man named Charlie Chaplin. Other ways to get the audience to participate can be quite inventive. Invariably a couple of cute small children, often dressed in Harry Potter robes, or their new ballerina costumes, straight out of the Christmas wrappings, will troop up on stage to be quizzed by one of the supporting cast. Such questions as ‘Are you married or do you have a boyfriend?’ put to a four year old, dribbling chocolate down the front of her dress. It’s all good fun though, and the kids get a bag of goodies out of it, so they’re not complain- ing. The members of the cast also throw out sweets to the children in the audience, often resulting in some maiming, but the crowd are in such a good mood by this time that nobody seems to care. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 23
  • 25. Sometimes the villain will squirt members of the audience with water guns or pretend to throw a bucket of ‘water’ at the audience that is actually full of confetti. Cream pie fights are obligatory amongst the cast. The villain, of course, is the mainstay of the pantomime. Actors, even major stars, vie to take the part of villain in a panto. Recently the UK have been importing their villains from the US in considerable numbers. Henry ‘The Fonz’ Winkler has recently played Captain Hook, and Paul Michael Glaser of ‘Starsky and Hutch’ fame has taken the same role this year. It’s become a real status symbol to play the Panto Villain these days. The villain is invariably never truly scary, and always has some redeeming graces to avoid scaring the smaller children out of their wits. It’s made clear throughout that there is never really any danger from them, and that in the end it’s quite certain they will see the error of their ways and reform, end- ing up in the finale dance with the best of them, arm in arm and looking sur- prisingly cheerful. The audience boo themselves hoarse throughout the per- formance though, every time the villain dares to make an appearance. The comedy element is always emphasized during the villains performance, with someone else being on stage to ridicule him. In the end of course, there is always a happy ending, boy gets girl, wid- Paul Michael Glaser as Captain Hook owed mother gets money from a goose’s bum in the form of a golden egg, and marries the heroine’s unlucky father. The villain often ends up withsome consolation prize and everyone goes home happy, full of ice cream and looking forward to next year. Despite all of the inherent flaws though, it invariably and surprisingly works, and not just works, but works incred-ibly well. The honest duffness of it, is part of its great charm. What fun would it be if everyone in it played the partwithout corpsing now and again and ad libbing, or the odd dancer didn’t trip over the scenery? This year in the UK, literally hundreds, if not thousands of pantomimes will be performed in theatres, large andsmall, in school and village halls, in every town and in every available space. There is nothing to beat the good oldfashioned British pantomime.Sources: search-of-pantomime/ rt.aspx? Coram is Ripperologist’s designer and also a contributing editor. She’s an East Ender bornand bred, but now lives in East Sussex, with her husband, her daughter Melissa and two cats.Unfortunately she is mouseless at the moment as one of the cats ate Gus a few weeks ago.The photo is of her and her mum in a friend’s back yard in Hoxton, East London. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 24
  • 26. Early 19th century version of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Early 21st century version of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Scene One Scene One The Banqueting Hall The Palace of KIng Block A fanfare. The King enters Stage right. Chorus are onstage for the opening number. Song: Chorus. After song ends the first few bars of Doctor Who music is heard. NurseKing: This is a day for gaiety and mirth, Penny Sillin enters through the audience. She carries a small bag, The day on which we celebrate the birth which contains bags of crisps and underneath is hidden a nine car- Of our beloved daughter. rot necklace. She carries boiled sweets in her apron. Queen Block enters Nurse: Hello everyone, are you all right? Good. You look a lovely Ah, my Queen! crowd tonight. Much better than that lot last night. And for thoseQueen: My dearest Block, rejoin the festive scene! who might be interested (indicating to a man who takes her fancy) Our guests, you know, have come from every quarter And you’re interested, I can tell. What’s your name? Well . . . (man’s name) . . . you’ll be pleased to know that I’m single. Hard to believe To see the christening of our Royal Daughter; I know, but I’m open to offers. I’m not so much on the shelf as . . . From North and South they’ve come; from West and East, who said, ‘past your sell by date’? I never married, I grew up in a The highest in the land down to the least. generation that believed in saving it for marriage. Well at my age The invitations went for miles about — I’ve got an awful lot saved up. So, if any of you men fancy coming We haven’t left a single creature out. around to my dressing room after the show, form an orderly queue behind (man’s name). A roll of drums and thunder. Carabosse flies in Girl in Chorus: They’re coming! They’re coming! King Arthur, Queen Martha and the baby!Carabosse: Not one?Queen: Carabosse! FanfareKing: Oh dear! King and Queen enter carrying the baby I’m sure we’re very glad to see you here . . . King: Martha dear. Have all the guests now arrived? Queen: Yes dear. King: And have they all brought presents? Queen: Yes dear. Lovely presents. She’s had seventy-seven silver spoons and sixty-six teething rings. King: (wiping his eye) How nice. Nurse: I thought she got beauty and happiness? Things like that? King: She’s got those already. Fairy Rose and Fairy Sunshine came earlier. Lights dim. Spooky music plays Nightshade (Evil Fairy) enters dressed as an old lady Nurse: Who’s that? Blimey. It’s E.T. Queen: Arthur dear. What’s happened to the lights? Have you forgot- ten to pay the electricity bill again? (the lights go back to normal) Thank goodness. I was beginning to think something awful had hap- pened. Night: My name is Nightshade. (spooky music plays) Queen: I knew there was something mysterious about her. Night: It seems we’re having a bit of a knees up here and no-one thought to ask me Ripperologist 98 December 2008 25
  • 27. Carabosse: Indeed? And yet it seems that you forgot my invitation. Queen: Well we ran out of invitations and W. H. Smith’s was closed.King: If we did, ‘twas not on purpose — Night: You ran out of invitations? How very dare you. You didn’t wantCarabosse: No! Well, let the child be brought. a disgusting old hag spoiling your lovely christening did you? I have a present for her . . . of a sort. Everyone pulls faces and shakes their heads behind her back, thenKing: Where is Lady Bendwell, with the Royal Child? when Nightshade turns to look at them, they all change it to a vigourous nod. Enter Lady Bendwell, with baby King: Well you must admit you haven’t been using your Oil of UlayBendwell: Just coming sire; the weather’s turning mild; recently have you? I thought we’d take a stroll — Oh! goodness me! Night: Silence — Now hear this, all of you. You have betrayed me, and I’m sure I didn’t know we had company. you will pay.Carabosse: Let everyone be frozen in this room! King: Summon the Royal guards, and have this thing ejected. Prepare to shiver, quake and hear your doom! Night: Before this child reaches her sixteenth birthday, she will prick By hopping frog, by bat, by croaking crow, her finger on a spinning wheel and die of the wound. By venomous curse shall lay this kingdom low. Whole cast draw in their breath really loudly and hold it, This Royal Babe shall, ere her sixteenth year, then all let it out again together. Lie dead before you on her funeral bier! Queen: Send out a proclamation. All spinning wheels in the kingdom The very first time she her finger pricks are banned, with immediate effect. I’ll make the wound prove fatal by my tricks! Night: That won’t help you. Your fate is sealed. Ha-ha-ha! And now, Then you’ll remember, when with tears you’re blinded please do go on and enjoy your happy celebrations. I’m sure you’ll The price you’ve paid for being absent-minded; have a wonderful time! A roll of drums and thunder Carabosse flies out Spooky music and Nightshade exits. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 26
  • 28. The Really Big Showof Autumn 1888?By Christopher T. George Ask a Ripperologist what was Big in 1888 and they will think immediately of the Ripper murdersand the Autumn of Terror, or if they are thinking of the theatre they might name Richard Mansfield’sstaging of Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’—often cited as having some link to theRipper crimes, either because the American actor was a possible suspect or because the melodra-ma conceivably could have inspired the Whitechapel murderer to commit his bloody crimes.1 Then how does this strike you? Being presented at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, during that bloody autumn was abig extravaganza of a show entitled The Armada. We would wager that many of you, our readers, will not have realisedthat the year 1888 was also the three-hundred-year anniversary or tercentenary of the English defeat of the SpanishArmada, the great fleet sent by Catholic King Philip II of Spain to punish heretical Protestant England ruled by the VirginQueen, Queen Elizabeth I. Think Kate Blanchett and Clive Owen, Errol Flynn and Bette Davis, Jeremy Irons and HelenMirren (two Queen Liz’s in one there!). We could go on, and probably will, unless you stop us. . . . The massive Drury Lane spectacle, which took the minds of the audience off bloodier events a few streets away inthe East End, was staged and co-written by London’s leading theatre and opera impresario Augustus Harris (1852–96).‘The Armada’ was one of two historical spectaculars the impresario would stage over the two-year span 1888-9, theother being ‘The Royal Oak’ about the 1660 restoration of Charles II. ‘The Armada’ was co-scripted with Henry Hamilton(ca 1853–1918), a frequent collaborator of the showman’s. Incidentally, another of Harris’s writing partners on otherworks was journalist, dramatist, and commentator on the Ripper case, George R. Sims aka ‘Dagonet’, the author of thepopular ballad ‘Christmas Day in the Workhouse’.2 A Brilliant Man of the Theatre Augustus Harris was the son of Augustus Glossop Harris (1825–73), himself a successful Anglo-Jewish actor and the-atre manager. Sir Augustus Henry Glossop Harris was born in Paris, France, on 18 March 1852.3 He was educated in Paris and Hanover,Germany. His father, the manager of the Covent Garden Theatre at the time of his son’s birth, intended young Augustus toenter commerce rather than show business. Thus, as a teenager, his first paying job was as a clerk in the correspondencedepartment of the bankers Emile Erlanger & Company. But the son never gave up on his dream to make a name for himselfin the theatre. When Pater Harris died in 1873, Augustus gave up his clerkship and became a professional actor in the provinces.1 Martin A Danahay, Alex Chisholm (editors), Jekyll and Hyde Dramatized: The 1887 Richard Mansfield Script and the Evolution of the Storyon Stage. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2004.2 Henry Hamilton and Augustus Harris, ‘Program for THE ARMADA: A ROMANCE OF 1588 at Theatre Royal Drury Lane.’ London: AugustusHarris, 1888.3 Obituary of Sir Augustus Harris, ‘Manager Harris Dead. Life of the London Impresario Ended Last Night. . .,’ The New York Times, 23 June 1896. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 27
  • 29. He first appeared onstage as Malcolm in a Manchester produc- tion of the drama known to superstitious actors as ‘The Scottish play’ or to the rest of us as ‘Macbeth’. He then acted in light comedy and ‘juvenile’ roles in Liverpool under the management of Barry Sullivan. An up-and-coming young man in a big hurry, Harris moved on to management, taking a position as assistant stage manag- er in Colonel J. H. Mapleson’s opera company, only two weeks later being promoted to principal stage manager. In 1876, with financial backing from Lord Newry, he brought to London from France the opera company of the famed Paris Odeon to per- form at the St. James Theatre in ‘Les Danischeffs’. That Christmas, he staged the first big Crystal Palace pantomime, ‘Sinbad’. The mounting of popular operas and pantomimes from then onward would be the key features of his career. In 1879, Augustus Harris purchased the lease of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, with financial backing from William Edgecombe Rendle, proprietor of the Westminster Aquarium. The glass roof of the aquarium, designed by Mr. Rendle, would be the prototype for the glass roofs of major railway stations throughout the British Isles. Rendle was a wealthy former nurseryman and manure merchant from Plymouth, Devon. That West Country place name is significant to our story, because 1888 would see the major tercentenary celebrations for the defeat of the Armada being held in Plymouth in England’s southwest. These events marked the fact that the English fleet under Sir Francis Drake sailed from that port to battle the vaunted Spanish fleet. Harris married Mr. Rendle’s daughter, Florence Edgecombe Rendle, on 9 November 1881. Could his marriage to Ms. Rendle and his in-laws’ geographic identification with Plymouth have led to the germination of Caricature of Sir Augustus Harris. the idea to mount a lavish production to celebrate the anniversary of the Armada? This seems likely. At any rate, shortly after he obtained the lease of the Drury Lane Theatre, Harris staged his first spectacular, ‘TheWorld’ and he would go on to mount grand opera at Drury Lane and later at Covent Garden. Thus by the time he wouldput on his spectacular ‘Armada’ in 1888 he had over ten years of experience in theatre management, scriptwriting, andmounting big productions. Not only that, if all this was not enough, the showman designed many of the elaborate cos-tumes for his productions and other producers’ shows as well. For, under the company name ‘Alias et Cie’, Harris, alongwith his mother and sisters, ran one of the world’s leading theatrical costuming firms. Not for nothing was Harris nicknamed the ‘Father of Modern Pantomime’ and ‘Augustus Druriolanus.’ Ripperologistswill probably be interested to learn that he was also a freemason. Along with his theatre work, Harris took an active interest in politics. In 1890, he was elected the member for theStrand Division on the London County Council. In 1891, he was appointed Sheriff and Deputy Lieutenant of the City ofLondon. He was knighted in 1891 at the time of the state visit of Kaiser Wilhelm II and the German emperor’s consort. It was undoubtedly the strain of work and his involvement in so many toilsome ventures, as much as he relished hisactive life in the theatre and politics, that led to Sir Augustus’s sudden and untimely death at Folkestone, Kent, on 22June 1896. Harris is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London. The impresario’s life and achievements are commemorated at the Ripperologist 98 December 2008 28
  • 30. Drury Lane Theatre with a publicly funded memorial fountain fea- turing masonic symbols. He and his wife Florence, who would out- live him by almost 20 years, until her death in 1915, had only one child, a daughter—Florence Nellie Harris. In its obituary of Harris, The New York Times spoke of his impor- tance to the theatre: The death of Sir Augustus Harris in the prime of life—he was only forty-four years old—will be severely felt in the theatrical world. He was the most enterprising and most daring theatrical speculators, excepting [Broadway theatre manager and producer] Henry E. Abbey, and while London was his only field of action, he was in touch with musical and dramatic affairs the world over, was probably the largest employer of singers and actors, and was sec- ond only to Abbey in the size of the remuneration that he gave them. . . . All London called him ‘Gus.’ He was of a Hebrew family, and properly proud of his race. It was quite the fashion of a certain class of London journalists good humoredly to gibe at Harris, and with a few others, to sneer at him. By the last-mentioned class he was compared with the poet Bunn, whose oiled whiskers, many waistcoats, and gold chains were the delight of Thackeray—who touched up Bunn as the London manager in the early chapters of Sir Augustus Harris as Sheriff of London, 1891. ‘Pendennis’. . . . But Sir Augustus had received an excellent training for his chosen work. He was a speculator, to be sure, butsomething more. He knew how to produce a play splendidly. He designed pictures and dresses. He had a fine eye forcolor schemes. He knew stage ‘business,’ and every trick of the craft.4 Note that there might be some lightly concealed anti-semitism in that The New York Times article. If not overtly bythe Times writer himself, despite the possible imputation of the trickery of the Semite, the prejudice seems to havebeen palpable, as the obituary writer describes it, among those London journalists who would sneer at Harris for hisgold chains and obvious success artistically and financially. The Spanish Armada in Myth and in Fact Naturally, the three-century anniversary of the Armada in 1888 was the occasion for a great outpouring of Englishpatriotic spirit along with much repeating of the myths and legends about the events of three hundred years before-hand. In the fall of 1888, Great Britain had not fought a major war since the Crimean War in 1853–6 over thirty yearsbefore, despite its engagement in a number of sporadic and pesky colonial wars around the world. But the nation wasnonetheless in an arms race with newly unified Germany. Patriotism was very much in fashion. Englishmen looked backto the courage shown by their countrymen in facing the French at the battles of Agincourt, Crecy, and Waterloo, andin defeating the Spanish Armada. It was quite acceptable at this time to breast beat! Three hundred years before 1888, though, England was far from being the world power it would later become as themajor political component of the United Kingdom of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Back in 1588, Spain withits vast Empire was the dominant power among the Western nations. Spain owned half of the Americas, the Pope inRome having helpfully subdivided South America between the Spanish and the Portuguese, their Iberian brothers andmaritime rivals. And the English were nearly twenty years away from establishing a permanent foothold in the Americas,4 Ibid. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 29
  • 31. at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, Sir Walter Raleigh’sfailed colony of Roanoke notwithstanding. Thus inmany ways the event was seen as Spanish writer JoséLuis Casado Soto puts it, ‘a victory by the EnglishDavid over the Spanish Goliath’. This view has thoughbeen reassessed by modern writers Colin Martin andGeoffrey Parker in The Spanish Armada (PenguinBooks, 1999) as well as by Señor Casado Soto him-self.5 The Spanish maritime writer notes that althoughthe popular idea is that the Armada was a navalattacking force it was in truth ‘more in the nature oftroop transport’ meant ‘to ferry over the Spanishtroops from Flanders [for the planned attack onEngland]. Hence, most of its components were largemerchant ships.’ He further states: The failure of the Spanish Armada of 1588 . . . wasone of the commonplaces of Protestant politicalpropaganda before becoming part of an exalted Queen Elizabeth I in the so-called ‘Armada Portrait’ showing her at the time ofnational mythology. . . . Even though historical writ- the Spanish Armada of 1588 with the famous naval battle in the of the past few decades has largely dispelled thismyth of victory by the English David over the Spanish Goliath, the matter of the ships themselves still gives rise toopinions not accurately based on concrete facts. . . . Research carried out in archives has allowed us to establish thatmany of the ships reported in books as lost, did, in fact, sail in subsequent armadas [to the Caribbean, etc.] and neverceased to draw their pay. . . . Among the 137 ships that sailed from Corunna on 18th July 1588 [under Spanish commander Alonso Pérez de Guzmán,the Duke of Medina-Sidonia], there were boats built in the three important shipbuilding regions with distinct naval tra-ditions: the Mediterranean, the Cantabrian coast and the North Sea. Only half of them were Spanish and these werenot the largest since their tonnage amounted to only 42% of the total. . . .6 In defense of their coast, the English supplied nearly 200 ships, far more than the Spaniards had available. Moreover,the English ships were lighter and more maneuverable, and equipped with long-range guns that could fire more fre-quently than could the Spanish ships. The English naval forces, led by Lord Howard of Effingham and Francis Drake, engaged in two brief, stalemated clash-es with the Spanish fleet toward the end of July, after which the Armada anchored off Calais, France, to await thebarges under the Duke of Parma, which were being assembled in Flanders for the actual invasion of England. While at anchor, the Armada assumed a classic, tightly packed, crescent-shaped defensive formation. On the nightof 7 August, Drake and Howard sent fireships (hulks filled with tar and pitch and set ablaze) downwind into the Spanishformation. Panicking, the Spanish crews cut their ships’ anchors. Unusually strong winds almost drove the Armada ontothe French and Flemish shore. The wind changed, however, and the Spaniards were able to resume formation, but in amore open and scattered pattern. On 8 August, the English attacked the Spanish fleet off Gravelines, France, in the only significant engagement. Both5 José Luis Casado Soto, ‘The Spanish Ships of the Oceanic Expansion. Documentation, archaeology and iconography from the 15th and 16thcenturies.’ In Francisco Alves, ed. Proceedings. International Symposium on Archaeology of Medieval and Modern Ships of Iberian-AtlanticTradition. Centro Nacional de Arqueologia Náutica e Subaquática / Academia de Marinha). Lisbon - September 7th to 9th, 1998. Trabalhos deArqueologia 18, p 141–2.6 Ibid. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 30
  • 32. Defeat of the Spanish Armada,’ by Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg (1797), depicts the Battle of Gravelines, 8 August 1588.sides committed errors and wasted ordnance. Moreover, the English crews exhausted their ammunition early and wereunable to pursue the Armada ships as they regrouped. Ten or eleven Spanish vessels were damaged or sunk in the battle. Spanish commander Medina-Sidonia decided that conditions were not conducive for a rendezvous with Parma. Hisships had already cut anchor at Calais and the at-best tenuous lines of communication with Parma had been severed.Although Medina-Sidonia was not aware of the English lack of ammunition, he presumed that any further attempts toreassemble the Spanish fleet, in the absence of being able to put into port, would make the Armada too vulnerable tofurther English attack. He therefore decided to return to Spain by rounding the northern tip of Scotland.7 The Tercentenary Celebration of the Armada Further illuminating Englishmen’s long-cherished myths about the nature of their countrymen’s encounter with theArmada and what occurred during the 1888 tercentenary celebrations, Michael Dobson and Nicola J. Watson in England’sElizabeth: An Afterlife in Fame and Fantasy, have written: What, then, did the events of 1588 say about the nation and its inception? Were they understood as a triumph ofEnglish Protestantism, or for a state independent of any single church? The argument is epitomized in the story of thePlymouth celebration of the tercentenary. The anniversary was commemorated locally by an exhibition of pictures (bylocal amateurs as well as London professionals) and relics (including Drake’s walking-stick, sword, and astrolabe), an‘official souvenir’ which reprinted poems new and old, a historical lecture, a monument to Drake, a bowls game [i.e.,English traditional lawn bowling not ten pins!] in honour of Drake’s famous sang-froid, and a pageant depicting theEnglish monarchs. There was enough interest to transfer to the foyer of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, to accompa-ny a ‘great Spectacular Drama’ entitled The Armada, scripted by Henry Hamilton and Augustus Harris, which culmi-nates in Elizabeth’s appearance at St Paul’s [Cathedral, to celebrate the victory]. . . .87 Information from ‘The Spanish Armada of 1588’ at Michael Dobson, Nicola J Watson, England’s Elizabeth: An Afterlife in Fame and Fantasy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002, p 206–7. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 31
  • 33. Religious passions had hardly cooled in three hundred years either. As Dobson and Watson note, when the Catholic Duke of Norfolk, a descendent of English fleet commander Lord Howard of Effingham, was named to head the committee to build the monument to Drake, this proved a red flag to extreme Protestant groups who formed a rival committee to celebrate ‘The Glorious Revolution’ of 1688 as the defining moment in the nation’s adherence to Protestantism.9 The defeat of the Spanish Armada be damned! Despite this simmering religious controversy, Harris busied himself with helping with preparations to com- memorate the anniversary, as reported in The Times of 20 July: The Armada Commemoration The members of the London and local committees assembled in the Drake chamber and the visitors intro- duced included Mr Augustus Harris, Mr Broadley & Mr Hamilton. Among those present from the London Committee were Major Martin Frobisher, Sir Duncan Campbell, Mr H. H. Bridjman, Canon Boger, Under-sher- iff G. Rose Innes, Major Mainwaring Jones, Dr Henry Drake, Mr A. J. Drake, Mr Austin Dobson, Mr Douglas Sladden, Mr Walter Herries Pollock and several others.10 Miss Ada Neilson as Queen Elizabeth in ‘The Armada.’ From ‘Sketches From “The Armada” at Drury Lane Theatre.’ Illustrated London News, 29 September 1888. Collection of the author. The media of the day were also helpfully getting on board. The Illustrated London News of 14 July ran a lav-ish multi-page spread on ‘The Tercentenary of The Spanish Armada in 1588’ and other English newspapers covered thePlymouth celebrations and other events connected with the commemoration. Popular With the Public But. . . Henry Hamilton and Augustus Harris’s extravaganza ‘The Armada’ opened at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, on the eveningof Saturday, 22 September 1888. Reviews were mixed, although the show garnered some raves—and the writers, Hamiltonand Harris, had to take two curtain calls. The Graphic of 29 September noted: Drury Lane was reopened on Saturday evening with Messrs. Hamilton and Harris’s new romantic picturesque drama,The Armada, a Romance of 1588. The play has been furnished with picturesque scenary and brilliant historical tableauxeven beyond the point to which a Drury Lane romantic drama is expected to go; nor are we disposed to complain thatthe modern fashion for turning set scenes inside out has given way on this occasion to the old-fashioned expedient of‘carpenters’ scenes. For the most part these are comic scenes between the popular Mr. Harry Nicholls in the charac-ter of Jenkin, a runaway ‘prentice tuned sailor, and other personages who belong to the same category of low-come-dy performers. . . . Thirty-one actors and actresses in all figure in the list of personages, without, of course, reckon-ing the personae mutae [non-speaking actors] of the drama. Among these [the leads], Miss Ada Neilson, who makes awonderful stately portrait of the Queen in her high collar and richly brocaded, bejeweled, and bedizened garments,moved apparently with some difficulty, and spoke her historical speeches with more dignity than grace. . . . The9 Ibid, p 207.10 ‘The Armada Commemoration,’ The Times, 20 July 1888. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 32
  • 34. Armada was unquestionably successful, and it bidsfair to be one of the most prosperous pieces pro-duced under the present management.11 The Pall Mall Gazette of 24 September noted a bitsniffily that the show ‘did not meet the high antici-pations we had formed’ and that a corny and con-trived romantic plot lay at the heart of the extrava-ganza which ran for a total of ‘a long four hours’. Youcan almost hear the reviewer yawning.12 The love plot concerned the abduction by aSpanish rogue of an English maiden played by MissWinifred Emery and the attempt by her Englishsweetheart to free her from imprisonment in Cadiz.While in Cadiz trying to effect her release, the herolearns that the Armada is on the point of sailing and‘he alone can warn his country of the terrible danger.. . . “I must choose betwixt her and my country,” heexclaims; and, like a true Englishman, he chooses forthe latter.’ Meanwhile the lass falls into the hands of the HolyOffice and is to be burned at the stake as a hereticin the Grand Place. Don’t be afeared though, dearreader or dear audience member, for of coursedespite his duties in defense of country, the heromanages to bring about ‘a most improbable rescue’in the fourth act of the show. Miss Winifred Emery about to be burned at the stake auto da fé in the Grand Place. From ‘Sketches From “The Armada” at Drury Lane Theatre.’ The Pall Mall Gazette also faulted the comic scenes Illustrated London News, 29 September 1888. Collection of the author.which played out to the front of the stage while the setscenes of pageantry and battle, etc., were being prepared in the rear, noting that the dialogue in those comic interludesbore ‘no more relation to the main story than does Tunbridge Wells to Timbuctoo.’13 Rather more positive notices gleaned from the Morning Post were published by Harris in The Times as advertisingteasers for the show. The Post enthused: When the curtain fell Messrs. Harris and Hamilton were twice called to the front, and a speech was requested fromthe manager [Augustus Harris], who, however, contented himself with the simple question, ‘Is the play a success?’ Theshout of applause that followed was the gratifying response to the managerial query, and we may therefore antici-pate that The Armada will keep its place in the Drury-lane bill until Christmas at least. The drama has all the ele-ments of a popular piece. All these considerations, combined with the emphatic verdict of approval given by thecrowded audience, lead us to predict with confidence the permanent popularity of the new Drury-lane drama.14 In addition to mounting the exhibition of Armada paintings and artifacts in the foyer of the theatre, as an extraincentive to draw in the masses, Sir Augustus issued a souvenir brass ‘theatre pass’ showing the famed Armada. Theimpresario, indeed, pulled out all the stops to promote the spectacle. What can we say of ‘The Armada’ in retrospect? Even if the critics were a bit scathing, the general public seemed11 Review of ‘The Armada’ in The Graphic, 29 September 1888.12 Review of ‘The Armada’ in Pall Mall Gazette, 24 September 1888.13 Ibid.14 Review of ‘The Armada’ in The Morning Post, as used in an advertisement for the show in The Times, 4 October 1888. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 33
  • 35. Obverse and reverse of the brass theatre pass for ‘The Armada’ at Drury Lane. Collection of the author. Actual size of token is around the size of a current British bronze one pence or a bit larger than a US like the show, even at four hours and despite the corny love plot. Presumably the show has not been repeated since the tercentenary year of 1888, partly because of the expense ofmounting it along with the dated, melodramatic plot. Indeed perhaps the show was dated almost as soon as it was done,judging by the following critic’s glowing notes for a new pageant in 1912 called Drake by playwright Louis N. Parker,wherein the scribe slightingly compared Harriss production to Parkers show:. . . Mr. Parker has done his work well. Those playgoers who remember Henry Hamilton and Augustus Harris’s Armada,nearly a quarter of a century ago, will be able to gauge how much better we do these things now.15 Still, in the bloody autumn of 1888, with the news full of the gory murders ongoing in the East End, The Armadaproved a nice evening’s diversion for the populace of the metropolis of London! Acknowledgements The author thanks Chris Scott, Robert Linford, Jane Coram, and Debra J Arif for help with this article. Christopher T. George is an editor at Ripperologist and a lifelong supporter of Liverpool Football Club, the legendary club founded in 1892, whose team is now leading England’s Premier League. He is a for- mer editor of Ripper Notes and has given presentations at both the UK and US Ripper conventions. A song- writer and poet, Chris is the lyricist and co-writer for ‘Jack: The Musical’, written with French musician Erik Sitbon. He is currently finalizing work on a book on Jack the Ripper and the Jews, expected out in 2009.15 E A Baughan, ‘Drama of the Year,’ The Stage Year Book. London: Carson & Comerford, 1913, p 10. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 34
  • 36. Getting Off on the Wrong Foot A Christmas Fable By Don Souden My name is Wednesday, Sergeant Joe Wednesday. I wear a badge. I’m a cop. Today is Thursday, ChristmasDay, and my partner and I are working day watch out of burglary. Most cops don’t like working onChristmas, they want to be home with their families. I don’t have a family, so I don’t mind. My partner, BillGallon, has a family, but he doesn’t much like them. I don’t blame him—his wife, the kids, they’re all a goodargument against marriage. Besides, criminals don’t respect holidays. Somebody has to be there to protect law-abiding citizens and it might as well be me . . Sgt. Wednesday slipped into his chair at headquarters, acknowledged his partner with a curt nod and started look-ing through the stack of papers on his desk. “Nothing there partner,” said Gallon. Wednesday cocked an eye toward Gallon before he spoke. “You already looked? You shouldn’t, you know. I’m incharge, I look first.” Wednesday paused and then continued: “I’m sorry Bill. I guess I’m just on edge. Bothers me that Joe Wednesday in "plainclothes." while people are trying to enjoy a holiday there are others, the criminal element, bent on wreaking mayhem and havoc, a few ruining everything for everyone else. It’s wrong Bill, just wrong.” Gallon simply shrugged and continued to grapple with the “Junior Crossword” in the local paper. He’d heard it all from Wednesday before. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Walpurgis Night, Guam Liberation Day, Wednesday always had a holiday handy about which to rail. Then, momentarily stumped by “Feline — three letters,” Gallon ven- tured a few thoughts of his own. “Tell me Joe, how come we always get burglary or homicide? Why can’t we get assigned to pro wrestling fixing, or barratry or simony?” “Simony? Hasn’t been a simony arrest since I’ve been on the force.” “That’s what I mean Joe, that’s what I mean. Be good for my feet just to sit all day and rest them. Really be good for them. My feet felt better I might be able to catch that kid of mine the next time he wises off. Do you know what . . .” Anything else Gallon was going to say about his feet or his kids was left hang- ing when the phone on Wednesday’s desk rang. “Burglary, this is Wednesday . . . Yes, I know it’s Thursday, this is Sgt. Wednesday speaking . . . all right, we’ll be right out and don’t touch anything . . . yes, you already touched the phone, just don’t touch anything else . . . YES, you may hang up the phone!” Wednesday put the phone down with a thump and motioned to Gallon. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 35
  • 37. “Come on partner, we have business. Let’s roll. We have a 401(k) out at a strip mall.” It’s always this way on a holiday. People want to be home with their families. The mechanic, the banker, thepostman, the baker, they all want to be home with their families. Well, not me, I don’t have a family, and notBill, he hates his family. But everyone else. Only two kinds of people don’t take a holiday—cops and crim-inals. And well, people who run malls . . . “Where are we headed Joe,” asked Gallon, breaking in on his partner’s reverie. “Place out on County Road 34 near the Toxic Waste Dump Plaza. Called Mall Aboard!, youever hear of it?” “Oh yeah,” replied Gallon. “Read about it while ago. Interesting place. “Why is that Bill?” “Remember the old Scylla & Charybdis Railroad?” “Sure.” “Well,” began Gallon, shifting his feet into a more comfortable position, which was gener-ally a prelude to his telling a long and often pointless anecdote, “when they shut down a fewyears ago it happened quick like. Real quick. Trains just stopped wherever they were, crewsleft and went home. Just like where we’re headed. Main stakeholder, County Savings andConfiscation Bank, got left holding the bag. Tried to sell what they could, you know. “I heard some Arabs bought the locomotive. Dunno what they did with it, but I heard sto-ries. Yep, stories.” Wednesday shot a look of impatience at his partner as Gallon continued. “Caboose was bought by some yuppie couple up by Lake Miasma way, made it into a guest house. But the emptyfreight cars just sat there until this guy Coon came along—Tyrus ‘Ty’ Coon. You remember him Joe, we arrested him forvagrancy once in his own home . . . charges didn’t stick, though.” “No partner,” said Wednesday tersely. “You must have been with someone else. But what about the mall?” “Oh yeah,” replied Gallon, once more shifting his feet. “Well ‘Ty’ Coon figured he could make the freight cars, whichweren’t going anywhere anyway, into a strip mall. Had to chase out several families of lemurs that had moved in,though. Caused all sorts of problems with Immigration and Animal Services over who had jurisdiction. I think in the endthe Railway Retirement Board got involved as well, but . . .” “Will you get to the point, Bill?” “Sorry partner. It was just an interesting case. But anyway, Coon got that monkey off his back.” Gallon paused, hop-ing to get a smile from Wednesday at the pun. He didn’t, so he picked up his narrative. “Finally rented the cars out.Last I heard he’d filled the place up, too. Rents are cheap, not a nice neighborhood.” Wednesday nodded in agreement, noting that they had already passed the low-rent district and were headed deepin to the no-rent district. On the right was Jukes and Kalikack Regional Middle School, notorious among scholastic cir-Mall Aboard! Ripperologist 98 December 2008 36
  • 38. cles and known familiarly throughout the area as “Fagin Prep.” That jogged Wednesday’s memory. “Didn’t your daughter go to school around here, Bill?” “Further out partner, down by the Fens of Ordure. Cost me a bundle to send her to Radclyffe Hall and can’t say ithelped her much. ‘A school where your awkward daughter will become a real woman’ my foot! And that reminds me,my feet are killing me cramped in this damn car. Shouldn’t we be there by now?” “Yes we should,” said Wednesday attentively looking at the road ahead. “‘Hard by the Food Circus market’ he said. Yep, there it is, I can see the sign Food Circus — Yesterday’s Food atTomorrow’s Prices. You know, I’ve always wondered about that slogan.” Wednesday’s comment was left hanging as he pulled into the nearly empty parking lot in front of Mall Aboard! Itreally was just a string of nine old freight cars now slightly modified. Steps had been added to each car and a few win-dows as well, but otherwise things looked much as they must have when the Scylla & Charybdis closed down a decadeago. While Gallon struggled to rub some life into his aching feet, Joe Wednesday took a quick look around at some ofthe shops that comprised Mall Aboard! Immediately drawing his attention was The Empress’s Nude Clothes, a “lingerie and sex aides boutique” as its signproclaimed. On the next freight car was a large banner announcing: “Coming soon, another Mac’s Haggis Shack! Ochthere isna anything better than a steamin’ sack o’ minced sheep’s heart, liver, lights and oats, eh monnie and lassie?” Possessed of a weak stomach at the best of times, Wednesday quickly turned his attention to some of the other shopsin the mall. There was Carclucci’s Continental Tailor with the “Off the Baltic Boat Look,” a Long Live the Green!shop selling environmental oddments that declared itself an “Energy Free Zone!” Further along the track were a Joyof Toy outlet, a County Savings and Confiscation Bank branch (it celebrated the season with a wreath emblazoned“Use our Usury Loan Card for all you holiday purchases!”), an Olde Iowa Trawler seaside restaurant (“So fresh youcan’t believe it’s canned!” said a sign over its door), Alec Tronic’s Warehouse that proclaimed “Why pay retail orwholesale when you can pay ‘hot goods’ prices here?” Finally, at the end, there was an Adorables his ‘n’ hers clothingshop for trendy yuppies. There also was, off to the side, a steel shed that bore the sign “Every day’s a fire sale at Van der Lubbe’s — estab-lished 1933” and from which a short, squat man in his 50’s waddled toward Wednesday and Gallon. He wore an angryexpression and it was quickly plain that some of his ire was directed at the two officers. “You the police?” he asked peremptorily. “Sgt. Wednesday,” Joe said as he flashed his badge, “and this is my partner Bill Gallon.” “Took you long enough.” “I’m sorry.” Wednesday said without a trace of remorse, “but we drove at the speed limit all the way. Like everyoneshould. You the person I spoke to on the phone?” “Yeah, that was me, Marinus Van der Lubbe III. I manage the place for Mr. Coon.” Ripperologist 98 December 2008 37
  • 39. “And the ‘fire sale’ business?” inquired Gallon. “Just a side-line gentlemen, just a side- line,” answered Van der Lubbe a trace too diffidently. “But look, we’ve been robbed.” “Technically, it’s a 1040—burgled,” cut in Gallon. “Or maybe it’s a 98.6, that’s a train robbery.” Wednesday ignored Gallon’s babbling and continued to talk to Van der Lubbe. “I think you said on the phone that theshops had been broken into—all of them?” “Yes, all of them,” said the manager in a surly tone. “I got a call from the gal at the lingerie shop, said someonehad been messing with her underwear. I’d guess someone’s always fingering her underwear. Told her that and she yelledat me and said her shop had been broken into. So I hadda leave the house and come down here. Then it turns out every-one was broken into. Not right I should miss my Christmas dinner.” “Yes sir, inconvenient. But then my partner and I, we missed being at home for Christmas too.” “Yeah, but you’re cops.” “Exactly,” Wednesday said without a smile. “You said all the shops. What about your office over there, was it bro-ken into as well?” “Nah, I’ve got good locks on my door.” “The other shops don’t?” Van der Lubbe just shrugged and Wednesday turned away and addressed Gallon. “Let’s go and talk to these people, partner.” “You know Joe, it might just be a 3.14159: entering a public conveyance with intent to com-mit theft of service, if of course these freight cars can still move. “Bill,” began Wednesday in a measured cadence, “just put a sock in it until we see whatreally happened.” “Sure Joe, sure, but I was just thinking ahead.” The pair’s attention was drawn by someone standing in the doorway of Long Live the Green!,so they headed in that direction first. When they reached the shop they were greeted by analmost skeletal thin young woman, dressed in what looked like potato sacking, who introducedherself as Alma “Earth” Mater. “Oh,” she began in a voice just above a twitter, “I’ve never been so happy to see the police.But then I’ve never been robbed before, or at least robbed of anything but my dignity, whichhappens everyday in this materialistic, capitalistic, patristic society.” “Yes, ma’am,” said Wednesday with an indulgent smile. “I understand. But then if youdon’t believe in capitalism, why do you run a business?” “Oh, we don’t really run a business,” replied Alma with a flounce. “Like we say, this is an‘Energy Free Zone.’ We just provide environmental information, global warming survival kits(complete with sun and x-ray blocker creams), ecological pamphlets and lots and lots ofunasked for advice and nagging.” “I’m sure you do, ma’am, especially the last. And who pays for all this?” asked Wednesdayas he gestured toward the shop’s darkened interior. “Oh, our shop? It’s paid for by Global Smoke, Smog and Pollution. Ltd., they are out ofthe Cayman Islands. It’s my daddy’s company.” Ripperologist 98 December 2008 38
  • 40. “I see. But if you actually haven’t had anything taken from you, I don’t think we can do anything for you,” saidWednesday. With a bit of frown, Alma thrust a sheet of paper toward Wednesday and Gallon and said “Well maybe you two wouldsign my petition to get some laws repealed.” “Laws, ma’am, what laws,” asked Gallon with mild interest. “We are petitioning the state legislature to repeal the Laws of Thermodynamics,” cooed Alma. “See, I’ve already gotthree signatures.” Wednesday looked hard at the petition and the signatures. They were by I.P. Freely, Amanda Huginkis, and Jack T.Ripper. Suppressing a grin, he shook his head sadly and told Alma “I’m sorry, but as government employees we can’treally sign that sort of petition. C’mon Bill, lets see if anyone here actually had anything stolen.” “I did,” trilled a husky contralto. Wednesday and Gallon both looked for the source of that voice in the wind and noticed someone—or at least some-thing—beckoning to them from the bottom step of The Empress’s Nude Clothes. They headed in that direction and asthey drew nearer the “something” resolved itself into a rather large woman. Well, perhaps very large would be moreappropriate. In fact so large that, were the woman to ever need a dressmaker’s manikin for herself, a surplus barrageballoon would suffice neatly. Indeed, she was rather mannish looking with what seemed a “5 o’clock shadow” at 9:30in the morning. “Officers, thank you for coming out on a holiday, but I am so upset at what happened.” “I’m sure ma’am. I’m Sgt. Wednesday and this is my partner, officer Bill Gallon.” “And I’m Maxie, officers,” the woman said with a throaty laugh. “Actually, my name is Minerva, or just Minnie, Mee,but that just wouldn’t fit, would it. Everyone calls me Maxi Mee, or just Maxie.” And again she rumbled the deep laughthat had the sound of a concrete mixer spinning lazily in low gear. “But come inside and see what happened.” Dutifully, Wednesday and Gallon followed Maxie up the steps and into the shop. Unlike Alma’s energy free zone, this Ripperologist 98 December 2008 39
  • 41. shop at least had lights and Wednesday quickly surveyed the interior. About two-thirds of the car had been converted into a regular clothing store, with racks of frilly, near transparent night gowns along with bins of wispy women’s panties, bras and other unmentionables—or, for Wednesday anyway, “unidentifiables.” The other end was closed off by a partition that had a hand-lettered sign “Sex Aides” and two doors marked “Tina” and “Roxanne.” But the officers’ attention remained captured by Maxie. “I was planning to open today anyway, gentlemen. Get a lot of Christmas Day exchanges. Men, bless ‘em, always get their wives’ sizes wrong. Full-figured like me, they’ll still buy a petite. How about you fellows, what size is your wife?” “No wife,” said Wednesday and Gallon chimed in “Don’t know, don’t care.” “Cops,” muttered Maxie and then continued. “So I comes down here nice and early, just in case, and finds the door broken in. Takes one look and it’s clear that some nighties, we calls ‘em ‘Naughties,’ and some panties and bras been stolen. All the same sizes, so whoever it was was stealing for someone in particular. “Yes ma’am,” said Wednesday as he pulled out a notebook. “What would you estimate the value of the missing merchandise to be?” Maxie took a deep breath, scratched her head in seeming dismay and then rattled off “SixThe charming "Maxie" Mee. Naughties, at $69.99, six Peek-a-Boob bras, $39.99 each, and six undies, assorted flavors, $29.99 each. $839.82, not including tax—which I always collect and pay.” Wednesday emitted a low whistle and then spoke “That’s a lot of money.” “Well,” trilled Maxie with a hint of seductiveness (mind-boggling as the notion might be), “for some gentlemen—real gentlemen” and she looked straight at Gallon, “money is no object in dressing—or undressing—their women.” “Did you say flavored,” asked Gallon, oblivious to her comment directed toward him. “Sure Sugar, get with the times and look over there.” Maxie gestured toward several bins. “Hmmm,” murmured Gallon, “cherry, peach . . . what the, ‘Liver Bits and Alpo’ flavor?” “Yep, no accounting for kinky is there Sugar.” “Let’s go Bill,” snapped Wednesday, “we have work to do.” He started for the door and then turned again to address Maxie: “And by the way, ma’am, I think your sign is misspelled—it should be aids without the an E.” “What? Oh yeah, been meaning to fix that,” replied Maxix without the least bit of sincerity. “But you gentleman stop in sometime when you’re not on duty, okay?” “We’re always on duty, ma’am,” replied Wednesday as he exited. Once they were outside and again alone, Wednesday spoke to Gallon. “This place is giving me the creeps. Let’s get through the rest of the shops as quickly as we can and hope we meet someone along the way half-normal.” “Fine with me Joe. Besides, I want to get off my feet. They are really hurting me more than usual today.’ A check at most of the other shops in the mall revealed that they, too, had been broken into and suffered losses. The seafood restaurant only lost a few cans of tuna and a package of desiccated fish sticks, but the toy store had lost quite a few of this year’s most popular items in the “girls aged 5-9” category, Carlucci’s was missing both cashmere sports coats in size 48-Dwarf and Alec Tronics was missing several high-end computer accessories and a single KPIG “pig radio. No one was at the County Savings and Confiscation branch, but then they had been told by the “Elf-in-charge” at Joy of Toy that the bank never did any business in this neighborhood, but just kept a Notary Public on hand to wit- ness bail bond agreements and loan papers for Honest Injun Used Cars across the highway. The Adorables lost none of its stock either, something that hardly surprised the saleswoman at the shop, Pauline Prying-Prigg. Middle-aged, gray-haired and seemingly at odds with the world and its Ripperologist 98 December 2008 40
  • 42. inhabitants, Pauline just sniffed at the notion anyone would have stolen, far less buy, any of her employers’ stock. “Look at them in the ad. Do you really think anyone older than four would want to look like them? We never sell anything. They had to open this shop just to satisfy the Savings and Confiscation people. Something to do with defalcation of funds and that charity they ran for the victims of the Reichstag fire. I think Van der Lubbe put them up to that.” She gave a big sniff when she mentioned Marinus. “And stop slouching,” she suddenly barked at Wednesday. “What, oh, uh sorry,” “My late husband, Marmaduke, bless him, he never slouched. I wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t died during that Dutch Elm Disease epidemic a few years back.” Double sniff at that. “But now I have to pay for our daughter’s education. She’s at the community college, getting a degree in Animal Wifery.” “That’s very nice, ma’am,” said Wednesday. “Now if there is anything else important.” “Well,” began Pauline with an extra big sniff, “you know those two, Theodora and Theodore Adorable, as they calls themselves, they aren’t a couple. She has a bunch of boyfriends, I know, and so does he— boyfriends!” Pauline went into a sniffing fit at that dis- closure which would have shamed a roomful of cocaineaddicts. “Well, not our business, that,” replied Wednesday. “You’re welcome,” replied Pauline and then noticing Gallon as he left, shouted to him “You! Walk like a man, not awoman in heels.” “My feet hurt,” muttered Gallon in protest. “Well Bill,” started Wednesday after they were outside, “I guess that about wraps it up for here. Whoever it was madeoff with more than $5,000 in merchandise. And what do we know from what was stolen? Maybe has a kid, a girl, who isfive to nine years old and has a very slim wife. He’s short and wide. Not much to go on.” “Maybe not a ‘slim wife’ Joe. Remember what Maxie said about guys and sizes.” Wednesday rolled his eyes skyward before replying. “Right Bill. But I think this guy knew. He was deliberate. Nowwe have to find him.” “Or her, Joe, or her. Can’t be too careful these days.” Wednesday grinned as he spoke. “That sensitivity training class the department made you take really had an effectdidn’t it?’ Gallon wasn’t paying attention, though, and turned the conversation in another direction. “You know Joe, that pig radio was really cute. You ever listen to KPIG Joe? It’s a good station, very local, I like that,local news, local people. You ever listen to it Joe?” “No Bill, nor does it matter.” Ripperologist 98 December 2008 41
  • 43. “Wait a minute, partner, I just remembered something. The Haggis Shack guy, AngusMacDaft. He has a program on KPIG. A promotional pig radio stolen and a Haggis Shack righthere. Think there’s a connection Joe?” “No, I don’t. The Haggis Shack isn’t even open yet. But we haven’t inquired there, maybewe should. As if on cue, an irate voice shouted at Wednesday and Gallon. “Och, ya wasna tae gang awa without a word or twa with me, eh?” Both officers turned in the direction from which the words, in a strong Scots burr, came. Asthey did, they noticed a wiry, red headed, middle-aged man in jeans and a Saltire T-shirt beck-oning to them. As they approached the freight car that was destined to become yet another in the haggischain (the second it proclaimed proudly), Wednesday asked if he was addressing Angus MacDaft. “Nae mon,” he replied on a tone that suggested disbelief. “Angus is an Aberdeen mon. Healways gangs north for the winter. I’m a cousin, Fergus MacTetched overseein’ the openin’. I’mfra the deep south, Dundee. “But nae more of a blether. Come see the stramash the slype made.” Wednesday and Gallon had no idea what Fergus MacTetched was saying, but since he wentback up the steps in the freight car, they followed. And as they entered they were assaulted bytwo strong odors, neither really offensive, but nonetheless quite arresting in combination.MacTetched immediately noticed their olfactory bewilderment. “Och, ye dinna ken the guff. Look, look!” Fergus pointed animatedly at an open freezer chest and a large bag thathad been removed from it, opened and partially spilt. “That was fifty pounds of fine, mouth-waterin’ minced sheep’s liver and noo look. Wasted, mon, wasted. We can nosell it noo. And look closely an’ tell me what you see.” Wednesday did look closer, peering intently before takin out his notebook and writing something in it. “Do you see what I see Bill? The thief opened the bag, hoping to find something worth taking home to eat and onlyfound this slop.” MacTetched openly winced at the remark. “Then, it looks as if he slipped in some of the chopped liverand fell backwards into the sack, landing on his, er, bottom.” “Aye, and a wide-bottom it were too from the looks of it.” “A big caboose, I’d say,” Gallon added, but neither Wednesday or MacTetched paid any attention to another bad pun.In fact, MacTetched was already dragging Wednesday down to the other end of the shop while continuing to complain. “That’s not all, look here—and ca canny where ye go, that’s fresh paint.” Fergus pointed to a large pool of blood-red paint evidently formed when a big bucket had been knocked over. “The gawkit tawpie clytes in the haggis and then skites and skales the paint we were using for decoratin’. Och, what will Angus say?” “Stepped right in the bucket from the looks of it,” observed Wednesday. “And then just walked over to the back door . . . see the paint footprints . . . and right out the backdoor. See.” Gallon and MacTetched followed Wednesday and looked out the back door. Sure enough, there was a red trail as if Ripperologist 98 December 2008 42
  • 44. from a one-legged creature that led across a field to aparking lot and building that fronted onto another busyhighway. “What’s that building across the way?” Wednesdayasked Fergus. “Aye,” muttered Fergus as he peered, “that wouldbe McSurly’s Irish Pub. Be just like himself McSurly to bebehind this. He’s no nice at all.” “Come on partner, we’re heading to McSurly’s.” And asWednesday and Gallon hustled out of the freight cartoward their patrol car, MacTetched was calling out toGallon. “You, laddie wi’ the puir jokes I want to speir ye—why ye walkin’ like ye feart of muck in a coo field?” “Because my feet hurt real bad” answered Gallon,without really having any idea what was said besides areference to his aching feet. The original, downtown, Haggis Shack. “Well I ken why,” called out MacTetched, butWednesday and Gallon were already in the car headed to McSurly’s. Cops take a lot of abuse. People call us ‘dumb flatfoots’ (apologies to my partner there), ‘pigs’ and a lot worse. We’re used to it. Youhave to be thick-skinned to be a cop. And we may not be as smart as a doctor or scientist or spinach control agent, but we care. Takemy partner Bill, who is dumber than a box of frogs. Even he has one big advantage over most criminals—they are really stupid. Likethis guy we are looking for right now. Stepped in a bucket of paint and left a trial so we may catch him red-handed . . . or at least red-footed. They make our job real easy because they’re stupid, I love that. MacTetched was right about one thing, the building Wednesday and Gallon saw from Mall Aboard! was indeedMcSurly’s Irish Pub. Wednesday nosed the car toward the back and sure enough, there were more red footprints lead-ing to a now empty parking space. However, there also was trail of prints that led around to the front door and anotherset, growing ever fainter, that led back to the initial parking space. “OK Bill, let’s go inside.” “You think anyone is here this early on Christmas Day Joe?” ”One way to find out. Besides, there is one car parked here around back and it looks as if the second story is somekind of apartment.” The two cops went to the back door and began first to knock and then, when there was no response, Wednesdaystarted to pound on the door with his fist. This had the desired effect and a second-story window was opened and avoice called out: “It’s @#$%& Christmas for &%$#@ sake!! We’re @#$% closed.” “Police,” replied Wednesday, waving his badge toward the window. “@#$%*! All right, go ‘round to the front door.” Wednesday debated having Gallon wait at the back, just in case the person behind the disembodied voice wantedto make a break for it, but in the end he decided that person sounded much too worse for wear to have any ideas for an escape. His judgment was amply rewarded when the front door was final- ly opened by a big, bleary-eyed individual in a bathrobe who could barely shuffle to a bar stool after he invited them in. “Look, officers, I had no idea she was underage,” were the first words out of his mouth. “That’s not why we are here,” snapped Wednesday. “Are you McSurly?” “That’s me, Liam McSurly in the flesh.” He jiggled his protuberant bare Ripperologist 98 December 2008 43
  • 45. stomach as he spoke, causing Wednesday and Gallon to momentarily turn away. Then he continued “If it is about thegun, I didn’t know it was loaded and I’ve been meaning to get a permit and the guy who sold it to me was insistent itwas a war souvenir, though I guess we haven’t fought them Swiss ever, have we?” Wednesday just shook his head. “Well then, the parking tickets, the ridiculous pro wrestling scam charges, the counterfeit Girl Scout cookies—look,my lawyer is the one to talk to.” “Look, McSurly, we don’t care what you may have hanging over your head, we just want to ask you about one ofyour patrons.” A visible look of relief spread all over McSurly’s face and his voice brightened as well: “Oh, bad night last night. Ineed some coffee. You fellows want some? I could Irish it up if you want,” and he winked as he said that. “No thank you, we’re working,” was Wednesday’s curt reply before adding: “Do you remember a patron last night,short fellow, wide-bottomed? Maybe he’s a regular so you’d know he has a petite wife and a young daughter, maybefive to nine?” There was a definite sense of recognition that flickered in McSurly’s eyes, but he merely shrugged. Wednesday then got right in McSurly’s face. “Look fellow, you play games with me I might just start to care about how old that girl was and just where that guncame from, understand?” “All right, all right. I was just trying to protect one of my best customers. You’re talking about Ted—D.V.A. “Ted”Septum. He’s not a bad guy, just really a loser, ya know. Got a really nice wife, beautiful daughter. But he’s like reallybrain dead. Feel sorry for him, I hope he didn’t do nothing bad. Last night he was here, drinking too much, betting onlast year’s Super Bowl because he got 40-1 odds on the Patriots (I told ya, he’s dumb), and crying that he didn’t havenothing for his family for Christmas. “Tell ya something else, he came back later, after I closed up.” Once assured he was in the clear, McSurly began tosing with the gusto of a church choir. “Heard him pounding on the door and a dog barking and yapping. Thought he wasscreaming he wanted some hair of the dog that bit him, you know, more booze. I told him we were closed. But, I thinkabout it now, maybe he was just saying a dog bit him.” Wednesday looked at Gallon and said “The sheep’s liver.” Gallon smiled in agreement. “Huh?” asked McSurly. “Nothing, nothing at all to you,” replied Wednesday as he reached again for his notebook. “You know where thisSeptum lives?” “Yeah. Got it in the other room. Just be a minute.” McSurly shuffled to a room behind the bar and Wednesday tooka look around, his eyes fastening on a sheaf of papers at the end of the bar. He took a quick look and then moved backto his seat when he heard McSurly returning. “Here it is, 101 Superfund Meadows. You know where that is, just down the highway past the Daughters of theAmerican Depression hall.” Wednesday nodded assent and, after motioning to Gallon, the two beat a hasty retreat. “How’d you guess he was a short guy, too, Joe?” “You see his paint-prints Bill, short steps, short. And the sports jackets, size 48-Dwarf.” “Think this Septum is the one we want?” “One way to find out,” answered Wednesday and then he put his partner out of mind. This could be the end of the case. You never know. We make mistakes sometimes. Not as many as those morons at the steam laun-dry manage with my clothes, though. Lose buttons, rip seams, leave the starch out of my underwear. Terrible. If they weren’t so cheapI’d go somewhere else. Anyway, we don’t make mistakes like that. Maybe this suspect has an alibi, maybe he’s guilty. We’ll find out Ripperologist 98 December 2008 44
  • 46. soon. I just hope if it is him he isn’t armed. Been through that a few too many times . . . and just once is time enough. A suspect witha gun, hopped up on goofballs, still whining because his mother wouldn’t cut the crusts off his bread and angry because the worldwon’t give him everything he wants. Maybe six-feet six, 260 pounds of juiced up muscle, mad, desperate and packing an Uzi subma-chine gun. That’s what we fear when we confront a suspect. Please don’t let it be that way this time . . . . “Hello mitherth,” lisped the little girl who answered the door at 101 Superfund Meadows and Wednesday swiftly awoke fromhis reverie. “And who might you be,” asked Wednesday. “My name is Samantha Septum and I’m five years old.” “That is very nice Samantha. Is your mother or father at home?” “No. Mommy took daddy to the hospital because he got bited by a dog—in his bottom!” she added with a tinklinggiggle. Gallon looked at Wednesday with a knowing smile. “You look like p’licemen, are you?” “Well yes, Samantha, we are. Why?” “Because I was going to call you. I want to show you something I found. It’s important.” Wednesday looked at Gallon and gave a nod with his head as he spoke. “Not exactly procedure, partner, but we wereinvited.” “Follow me,” said Samantha and she led them inside the home. As soon as they stepped inside the two officers detecteda definite smell of turpentine, which just further fulfilled suspicions. Silently, Sarah brought them to what seemed her par-ents’ bedroom and pointed to a big cloth bag on floor. “Look, Santa Claus forgotted his sack. He brought all so many presents for me, but he forget to take his sack andwhat about all the other boys and girls if he left their presents behind?” Wednesday took the sack and looked inside. “It’s all here Bill. The, um nighties and stuff, the electronic stuff, sports coats, canned tuna, everything but the toys.” “Toys,” piped up Samantha, “look what he left me in my room.” “I’m already there, partner,” called Gallon from another room. Everything. The ‘Molest Me Malmo’ doll, the ‘Smug Arrogant Moppet’ hand puppet, a “Mortgage Default McMansion’ The sack Santa "forgot." doll’s house, doll’s clothes, games, everything. Should I start to tag it?” “No,” said Wednesday, who by this time had entered Samantha’s room. “Just leave it. As Samantha told us, all those gifts came from Santa Claus. We’ll just take the sack with everything else and give it back to Santa Claus. And when we do, we will tell him that Samantha Septum found his gift sack.” The little girl beamed at that. “But, but.” Gallon began to blister. “Forget it Bill, it’s Christmas.” Then, turning to Samantha, he said “Just tell your daddy the police were here and they are returning Santa’s sack to him. Come on Bill.” “Wait a minute, please. Mister,” she said, pointing at Gallon’s feet, “why do you have your shoes on the wrong feet?” Gallon looked at his shoes once and then again, and finally could only gasp “Well I’ll be!” Once outside, however, the abashed Gallon started to complain Ripperologist 98 December 2008 45
  • 47. anew to Wednesday about what had happened inside the Septum house. “I don’t understand Joe. You tainted all the evidence, we can never get a conviction now. What are you going to do with the stuff in the sack now?” “Now? Now we are going back to Mall Aboard! And return everything, no questions asked. And we’ll pay the Joy of Toy Elf whatever the cost is for what was taken from that store.” “But why?” “Did you forget, it’s Christmas. One little girl is much happier than she was otherwise going to be today. Her father has a bite in his butt that will nag at him until New Year’s I would think and just maybe scare him from anything like this again. And her mother . . . well let’s just hope she doesn’t need all this sexy trash to be loved.” “But what about the haggis place, shouldn’t we pay for their meat too?” “Not unless you want to go to the grand opening. Remember, MacDaft’s an ‘Aberdeen man’—I have a sick sense that sheep’s liver will find its way into a few sacks of haggis regardless of who sat in it.” Gallon contined to shake his head. “I can’t understand you Joe. Christmas or no Christmas, what’s gotten into you?” “Egg nog, Bill, eggnog and lots of Jack Daniel’s.” “I don’t know Joe . . .” “Besides,” said Wednesday, now suddenly quite serious, “did you see what I saw back on the counter of McSurly’s?” “No, what?” “A bill of sale for a bogus benefice.” “What? That’s simony!” “Yep. Now let’s call in for a search warrant, return the sack full of stuff, and arrest McSurly before noon. See, a good Christmas after all . . . and Bill, shouldn’t you switch your shoes before we get there?” Cartoons and illustrations by Don Souden and Jane Coram. Sketch of young Don by Don Ogilvie.Don Souden is a member of the Ripperologist editorial team. Most of his time lately seems spent waiting forfurnace repair techs. As a class he is convinced they could not find their backsides with both hands, a map,a compass, a mirror and a GPS unit. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 46
  • 48. CHRIS SCOTT’sPress TrawlRocky Mountain News17 January 1892 WHITECHAPEL CRIME Possible Discovery of the Identity of Jack the Ripper — Curious Legacy of a PriestLondon, Jan. 2. A royal commission is to investigate the now almost forgotten Whitechapel murders. It is understood that the deathof a Catholic priest in the East End of London has placed some important revelations in the hands of the police. Therecan be no doubt that the priest, under the seal of confession, died possessed of information that might have led to thearrest of the murderer or murderers of the wretched women known as ‘Jack the Rippers’ victims. That the priest hadqualms of conscience regarding the sanctity of confession, even in connection with such atrocities, is evinced by thepacket he left behind him addressed to Sir Edward Bradford, chief of Londons police department. On the package wasinscribed, in the dead priests handwriting, "This is to be opened after my death — my lips must never reveal it." Beyond the above, carelessly mentioned by a garrulous official who has since been severely reprimanded for his indis-cretion, no further information can be obtained from the police. Whether it will lead to the detection of theWhitechapel fiend is a problem difficult to solve. Certain it is, however, that the number of undiscovered and unsus-pected murderers who walk amongst us red handed is enough to appal the timid and law abiding. Sometimes the inno-cent suffer for the guilty, for the clearest judgment may be misled by defected or perjured evidence; but such miscar-riages of justice, frequent enough in olden days, are, happily, of rare occurrence today.Western Mail23 November 1892 THE WHITECHAPEL OUTRAGE INTERVIEW WITH MISS SMITH A DAMAGED BROOCH A Morning representative on Tuesday interviewed the girl Smith. She stated that as early as eight oclock in the morn-ing a representative of an evening contemporary waited upon her. He was all anxiety. "Yes," said Miss Smith, "I keep by all I have said. The story in the Morning is true, though, of course, I would soonernot have had so much said about it. Still, if it leads to the detection of the ruffian all will be well, and no people wouldbe more pleased than those who now blame me for going to Scotland Yard. Soon after this," added Miss Smith, "myparents called for me, having received the Morning, and I went away with them to 3 Bingford Street, Caledonian Road,where I was quickly called on by different gentlemen representing newspapers and news agencies. I was tired to death Ripperologist 98 December 2008 47
  • 49. in talking to them, and some of them were certainly not courteous, insinuating that I had made up a lot of lies. I slammed the door in their faces. I am sorry if I was rude, but I really cannot help it." Asked if she had recently seen anything of Sergeant Bradshaw, she replied, "Quite enough. He simply haunts me, and no later than today (Tuesday) I went into a restaurant in the Tottenham Court Road to have something to eat, and he also came in and sat beside me." "Yes," she replied to a further question, "it was he who accompanied me in my tour over the ground in Whitechapel yesterday, but he has noth- ing to say for himself, and he is particularly dull." Old Scotland Yard ANGERED PARENTS In the course of further conversation, Miss Smith stated that her father had been for some time an invalid. Both heand her stepmother were still greatly angered by her having gone to Scotland Yard, but she continued to persist in herstatement that what she had done was for the best. She was determined to bring her assailant to justice, and, so faras Scotland Yard went, she had received nothing but kindness and consideration, especially from Inspector Froest, towhom, it will be remembered, she first made her statement. STORY OF THE BROOCH One thing from the story we printed yesterday which is worth relating is in regard to the brooch worn by the girlSmith. It is about the size, in its circular shape, of a five shilling piece, and forms a connecting — or rather a missing— link in the sensational details of the Station Place affair of November 5. The sections of the brooch are attached toa circular rim, or rod, and they represent sprays of violets. Each has its own fastening, and Miss Smith asserts that oneof them was violently broken away in the struggle with her would be murderer. It was gone the next morning, anyhow,and the girl is of opinion that when her assailant gripped her by the coat collar and neck he burst the brooch, causingthe damage alluded to. It may be mentioned that the girls neck was extensively bruised after the struggle with theman who threatened to kill her.London, Tuesday. It is quite unnecessary for me to state that the sensational story told by the young woman Smith has been the prin-cipal topic of conversation here today. It came like a bolt from the blue. The theory that the ‘Ripper’ had been handedover by his friends to the police as a dangerous lunatic, and was now safely under their charge, had begun to be gener-ally credited as a fact. Today that theory has been shattered. The circumstantial narrative of the woman bore theimpress of truth upon it, and every inquiry made today has but confirmed the details of her narrative. The great sur-prise of every person to whom I have spoken has been about the womans great power of observation. It certainly wasremarkable, but this seems to be a peculiarity of hers. In telling her story to Inspector Froest she was most minute,even drawing the mans features and moustache curl on paper, for the better illustration of her statements. "I did not," she said, "notice his boots, nor yet his hands, or the colour of his tie." I am surprised that she did not observe the last article of attire, as after I had interviewed her on Saturday night,she commenced her description of me to the police with the remark that I was "a young gentleman with a red tie." On Ripperologist 98 December 2008 48
  • 50. that occasion she was very neatly dressed, and her appearance did not at all suggest the horrible profession which shefollows. One observation of her attempted murderer — whom every person now believes to be the dreaded ‘Ripper’ — notrecorded by the Morning, is particularly significant. Whilst the two were walking along Commercial Road, he said,"There are not many guys about his year. It was entirely different two years ago." "Indeed?" she replied. "Yes, two yearsago Jack the Ripper was famous, and he was guyed everywhere here," and as he spoke he laughed quietly to himself.It was this incident which first made Edith Smith suspicious of her companion. THE SCENE OF THE OUTRAGE A representative of the Press Exchange went to the scene of the alleged outrage on Tuesday morning, and found thedescription tally in all respects, except that it is in the Shadwell district, and not in Whitechapel. The scene of thealleged attempt is within 100 yards of the Shadwell Police Station, and on inquiry there the inspector on duty said hehad heard nothing of it, and had not even been communicated with by the authorities at Scotland Yard. A policemanhas been specially told off to patrol the passage, which is, no doubt, a dark one in the evening, and a likely spot to bechosen for the purpose of outrage. The people living in the houses opposite to the scene of the alleged attack knewnothing of the matter.Western Mail28 November 1892 THE WHITECHAPEL OUTRAGE EMILY SMITHS SWORN DECLARATION THE ASSAILANT AGAIN SEEN, BUT AGAIN ESCAPES The News of the World on Sunday published a copy of a statutory declaration made by Miss Smith as to the truth ofher story of the latest Whitechapel outrage. On Saturday afternoon, at 3.45, Miss Smith attended at the offices of thewell known Holborn solicitors, Messrs. Peacock and Goddard, of 3 South Square, Grays Inn, W.C., and made the statu-tory declaration. The following is a copy of the form of declaration: I, Emily Smith, of 3 Bingfield Street, Caledonian Road, London, do solemnly and sincerely declare that the annexedstatement I made today, Saturday, November 26, 1892, And I make this solemn declaration, conscientiously believing the same to be true, and by virtue of the provisionsof the Statutory Declarations Act, 1835. Declared at 3 South Square, Grays Inn, Holborn, W.C., the 26th day of November, One Thousand Eight Hundred andNinety Two, before me, Chas. Goddard, a Commissioner for Oaths.(Signed) Emily Edith Smith. Subjoined is the full statement referred to: Statement on oath of Emily Edith Smith, the girl above alluded to (spinster, of Fitzroy Street, Tottenham Court Road,London), sworn upon the above date before Charles Goddard (Peacock and Goddard), of No. 3 South Square, GraysInn, Holborn, W.C., Commissioner for taking oaths and affidavits. The foregoing statement of what is known as the last Whitechapel outrage is perfectly true, with a few excep-tions, and before I proceed I will correct these trifling errors. I am not in possession of a silk gown as described; it isa cheap dress of dark blue alpaca. Flowers I do not wear in my hat, as it is otherwise trimmed, and I am not an unfor-tunate. It is wrong to say that at the coffee house they had no saucers for the tea they served. They had, but theyhad no spoons, and the man who was with me stirred my cup with his penknife. This disgusted me, and I quietlydropped the tea upon the ground. I learn that the complaint I lodged in Scotland Yard is all but believed to be untrue. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 49
  • 51. I am fully aware that for making a false declaration I could be sent to gaol for a long term; and though Scotland Yardmay treat my story lightly and with doubt, I am prepared to swear to the accuracy of every statement I made on theEmbankment to Inspector Froest and Sergeant Freeman. Since my last visit to Scotland Yard, I have had some strange experiences. I admit that in finding the first coffeehouse in the City, where I went with my assailant, I utterly and completely failed, but in no way else have I not goneover the entire ground with complete success. On the particular occasion to which I refer I went to Whitechapel forthe second time in my life, and I was accompanied by two friends who took a very active interest in the affair. Now,this is the weak part of my case, that, though I tried very hard, I could not find the coffee shop I sought, nor have Isince with Sergeant Bradshaw. Upon the night I was with the two friends who accompanied me to Whitechapel I told them the landlord of the pub-lic house in Sutton Street, when I was in there with my assailant on November 5, tended bar in his shirt sleeves, andthat the material of the garment was coloured flannel. When we went there the landlord had on a brown cardiganjacket. One of my friends asked him did he remember, on Guy Fawkes night, seeing me with a gentleman at about thehour we were there, 5.45 p.m. He looked at me very closely, and said he could not remember. I then asked him couldhe not recall the incident of my having asked for a small whisky, and his saying that he had only a beer and winelicence, at the same time recommending his sherry. The landlord replied it was quite a common thing for people tomistake partially licensed houses for fully licensed ones, and that he could not remember. One of my friends thenasked did he wear flannel shirts in the bar, to which he replied, Nothing but white. The same friend, almost beforehe had time to say this, quickly turned up the cuff of the cardigan jacket, and, disclosing a fawn coloured flannelshirt, said, You would not call that white? I then remarked that that was exactly the style of shirt he wore on thenight I speak of. Some of the newspapers try to make a point out of the Ludgate Circus in the late 19th centuryabsence of any statement as to what I did after I ran downSutton Street, and caught the Commercial Road tramcar. Well,I will tell it now for the public, as I did for the private ears ofInspector Froest and Sergeant Freeman in Scotland Yard. Ibooked at Aldgate for Kings Cross, and there a man whom Ithought I knew came up and spoke to me. He asked me why Iwas so frightened, and what was up with me. I had some teawith him, and went on to my home, where I met a girl of aboutmy own age, from whom I had been estranged for some timethrough a girls quarrel. I begged her to stay with me as I wasso frightened, which she did. I told her, and mother later thatnight, but not father, fearing it would upset him. He has beenan invalid for a long time. Now touching my last Sunday night experience referred toin one of the evening papers, I wish to state that on theevening mentioned I was in the King Lud public house, LudgateCircus, at about ten oclock, and whilst having a sandwich andsomething to drink, two gentlemen were there seen by me,and one of them had a most wonderful resemblance to mywould be murderer. I was immediately struck by the likeness,but whilst he had the odd eyes I have described, I could not seethe decayed cavities in his dog teeth mentioned in my state-ment in Scotland Yard. I asked the barmaid, did she notice any-thing peculiar about his eyes. She said, "Yes, they are odd, and Ripperologist 98 December 2008 50
  • 52. I have seen him stare very hard at you. I then asked her had she ever seen either of them in the King Lud bar before,and she answered not. She thought they were complete strangers. I followed them out, and they went down into thegentlemens retiring place at Ludgate Hill. They then went up towards St Pauls, where they picked up two girls, andwalked with them up Cheapside, beyond the Bank of England, until they reached a point right opposite a building withan archway, in which the German Bank has offices, and there they stopped. A dense fog was then quickly setting in, and Idetermined to stay as close as I could to them. They turned back, and after following them I had to go ahead of them,and the man I suspected was one of the first pair. I stood in a doorway for the purpose, if possible, of hearing hisvoice; there was a laneway or passage nearby, and I heard him distinctly say, "Let us get up this way." The girl said,"Ill do nothing of the kind," or words to that effect. In a second or two the other pair came up, and on the girl men-tioned the matter to her girl companion, she heard her say, "No, no, no." They then all proceeded back towardsCheapside, and I followed them; but just before the Bank the fog became that thick that you could scarcely see yourhand before you. I lost them in that fog. I told this to Chief Inspector Swanson next day, and he wondered why I didnot give the man into custody. I told him I could never see his teeth, but that he was a man with the same eyes, sameheight, same style of dress, and same walking street, and I honestly now swear that I am all but convinced he was theman who took me from Cheapside to Station Place. I am positive I would be able to identify the man again. To end this statement I will say that throughout the wholeof the occurrences above detailed I was perfectly sober. I have never been drunk in my life, and have never been in acourt either as a prisoner, a witness, or in any other capacity.Illustrated Police News3 December 1892 WAS IT JACK THE RIPPER? AN EXTRAORDINARY STORY On the evening of Guy Fawkes Day Emily Edith Smith, shabbily dressed, and wearing an old black hat, was walkingdown Cheapside towards St Pauls Churchyard. It was raining, and a slight fog hung over the street. When oppositeLockharts Coffee House. which is No 41 in Cheapside, a tall man accosted the girl, remarking, "Good night, Nellie." Shemade no reply, and continued her walk, but at the corner of Friday Street the man who had addressed her was by herside again, and proffered an invitation to have a cup of tea which the girl, after some hesitation, accepted. The cou-ple then walked up Cheapside, turning down Bucklersbury into Queen Victoria Street, and crossing over proceeded pastthe Mansion House into Lombard Street. It was then ten minutes past five, and in reply to an inquiry as to where thetea shop was, the strange man replied, "Its only a little way further down." From Lombard Street the couple passed into Fenchurch Street, and walking to the left up a narrow passage, passedthrough a courtyard and entered a dimly lighted coffee house, with which the man appeared to be thoroughly acquaint-ed. The character of the place may be judged from the fact that the tea was served in thick cups without spoons, andthere were but two tables in the room, which was uncarpeted. While in this place the man suggested that the girlshould accompany him to his office in Upton Park. He said that it was not a great distance away, and that a bus wouldspeedily take them there. When the coffee house was left behind the girl, after again traversing a number of narrow passages, found herselfonce more in Fenchurch Street, but near to Aldgate. The man then hailed an omnibus, and drove with the girl alongHigh Street, Whitechapel, to the corner of Commercial Road. It was but a very short omnibus ride indeed. She was unac-quainted with the locality, and asked, "Where are we now?" The man replied, "This is Whitechapel." The girl answered,"Oh! then this is where the girls were murdered." "Pshaw, not girls," said the man, deprecatingly, "old women, you mean.They were better out of the way." This was said in so quiet a manner that but little attention was paid to it by the girl. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 51
  • 53. Still, she insisted on knowing where Upton Park was, and the man replied that they were quite close to it. At the corner of Commercial Road, E., they entered a tramcar and drove to the George IV Tavern, and alighting thereturned down Sutton Street, E. Here they visited a beerhouse, which is but a few yards down the street on the left handside. While passing down the Commercial Road he talked of the shops and their proprietors with the freedom of one whoknew them very well, and before entering the tramcar pointed towards Leman Street, saying, "That is where Jack theRipper is best known." In the beerhouse, the man asked for a small soda for himself, because, as he stated, he never drank anything stronger,the girl for the first time closely observed her companion. The light, she says in her statement to the authorities, was fullupon him, and this is the description she furnishes: He was tall and thin, looking like a consumptive, with high cheek bones, his face being pale. He stood over 5ft 9in,wore a hard bowler hat, had very dark hair, though his moustache, which was curled at either end, was of a sandy tint.He had very peculiar eyebrows, meeting over the nose and the ends turning up towards the temples. She would seemto have taken particular notice of his eyes. These she described as odd and light, almost to squinting, one being a light-ish brown and the other a bluey grey. He had a strange habit of blinking them, but they sparkled and were piercing.His face, excepting the upper lip, was closely shaven. Both the ‘dog’ teeth showed decay cavities, but only when helaughed. His forehead seemed rather square, and, though speaking English well, he struck her as being a foreigner. Shedid not notice either his collar or necktie, but took a close look at his clothes. He wore a short, single breasted jack-et coat, of a black, roughish material, and grey trousers with a stripe pattern in blue running through them. He had avery uncommon sort of watch chain, consisting of a number of small squares strung on to a centre connecting chain;but she did not see his watch. She has since seen in a jewellers shop window a chain of the same pattern exactly, andcan point it out. He wore no rings, and the girl observed no peculiarity about either his hands or boots. He walked witha military gait, spoke like an educated person, and carried neither case nor umbrella. His cuffs were white. Leaving the beerhouse in Sutton Street, the man and the girl walked towards the further end of it. The street, whichis usually black and deserted, was, by reason of the fog, almost in darkness. One hundred yards down they passed undera railway arch, and turning to the right entered a long narrow passage, known as Station Place, which, save for a fewyards at the entrance, was enveloped in complete gloom. A new railway platform to the Whitechapel line of the Metropolitan Railway was in process of con- Whitechapel underground station struction at one part of the passage, and a hoarding had been raised round a portion of the works. The girl said she would not venture further, and that she did not like the appear- ance of the place. The man urged that his offices were at the end of the lane. But the young woman would not advance with him. They were standing then in the gloom opposite an angle in the hoarding, which, even had there been no fog, would have completely pre- vented any chance of their being seen. A street lamp, some few feet away, projecting from the opposite wall, shed but the faintest glimmer of light. "Let us go on a bit further," said the man, "I will not," replied the girl. "Then Ill settle you now," answered the man, quietly. He caught the girl by the back of the collar of her dress Ripperologist 98 December 2008 52
  • 54. and neck, and dragged her into the dark angle of the hoarding. They were face to face. He made to twist her round sothat her back might be to him, and at that moment the girl saw a knife in his hand. The girl gave ‘one big scream,’ andraising her right knee with all the power she could command dealt the man a violent blow in the lowest part of theabdomen. The man released his hold, and agonisingly exclaimed, "Oh! my God," then made a dive at the girl with theknife, but, missing her, stumbled forward. The girl, screaming loudly, rushed into Sutton Street, where two womenendeavoured to ascertain from her what had happened. The man was not seen again. Such is the story which has been placed in the possession of the Scotland Yard authorities. It was submitted to SirEdward Bradford the next day, and he at once placed it, with orders for full inquiry, in charge of Mr Donald Swanson,the chief inspector of the Criminal Investigation Department, who instructed Sergeant Bradshaw to accompany the girlover the route from Cheapside to the spot where the alleged murder was attempted. What gives the girl Smiths storythe strongest interest is that her description of the man is almost word for word identical with that which the policeauthorities have always held to be the description of the appearance of the criminal for whose arrest they sought soeagerly two years ago. It ought to be added that the description of the man with which the girls so fully corresponds,is the one that was furnished in connection with the murder of one of the women in Whitechapel by a fruit stall keep-er. In this case the murdered woman purchased some grapes a short time before the murder took place, and the manwho was then with her could never afterwards be traced. Some of the grapes were found in the dead womans hand.Another point of significance is that in this case, as in all the Whitechapel outrages, the passage into which the womanwas lured has both an entrance and an exit.Illustrated Police News10 December 1892 OUTRAGE IN WHITECHAPEL. An atrocious outrage was committed about ten oclock on The Old Cambridge Music Hall Friday night in a house of ill fame in Pearl street, which forms a crescent at the back of Commercial street — the two entrances in the main thoroughfare being separated by the Cambridge Music Hall. The street, which is badly lighted, is frequented by girls and young women. It seems that of these ‘unfortunates’ had accompanied a young man from Commercial street to a house in Pearl street, and after an interval of some minutes the man was seen to emerge from the doorway, which is on a level with the pavement, and run hurriedly in the direction of Commercial street. He was closely followed by the woman, who shouted out that her throat was cut, and who was seen to be bleeding profusely. The cry was taken up by several others, and the fugitive was stopped in Commercial road by two men. He struggled vio- lently until a constable stepped across the road and took him in charge. The police station is only a few yards off, and thither the victim, as well as her assailant, was conducted. the divisional surgeon was quickly in attendance, and although he found that the young woman had received a nasty curved gash across the throat it was not of such a char- Ripperologist 98 December 2008 53
  • 55. acter as to give any real ground for alarm or to necessitate her immediate removal to the hospital. The womans nameis Johnson. On Saturday, at the Worship street Police court, Albert Edward Hawthorne, stated to be twenty one years of age,but looking older, a barman, who gave the address of his mother, at 13 Gibraltar walk, Bethnal green, was charged withfeloniously cutting and wounding Mary Ann Johnson. Mr. T.W. Moore appeared for the prisoner. The prosecutrix, who was described on the police sheet as a prostitute, is twenty nine years of age. When broughtinto court she had a bandage under her chin, passing over her head and her left hand was also bandaged. The evidenceshe gave was in reply to questions put to her. She said she was accosted by the prisoner in Commercial street abouthalf past nine on Friday night, and at his request she took him to her home at 23 Pearl street. He attacked her in herroom. She was lying down, and felt something sharp at her throat. On putting her hand up she found she was bleeding.She screamed for “police” twice. The prisoner tried to cut her neck again, and then she began struggling with him forthe knife. In the struggle her left hand was cut. She thought the knife fell out of his hand, and she had just time torush out of the door and get to the police station, when she lost her senses. In being questioned by Mr. Moore her deaf-ness caused her to give several contrary answers. She admitted having received 1s. from the prisoner — all she askedhim for — but she denied having accosted him. She said she had not robbed him in the room. She did not know if hehad a stick — she did not see one — and had not taken a silk handkerchief from him. They had not quarrelled, and shedid not know why he had attacked her. They were only together three or four minutes. What she thought a knife wasa razor — (a broken razor was produced) — but she had not opened the razor nor taken the case out of his pocket. Itwas found in his pocket at the station. Mr. Percy J. Clark, surgeon and assistant to Mr. Bagster Phillips, divisional surgeon of police, 2 Spital square, deposedto dressing the wounds of the woman. There were two injuries in the neck — one under the chin running inwards anddownwards; the other a small incised wound just through the skin, half an inch in length. The former wound left a flapof skin hanging, and a third cut was across the left thumb, inner side. Witness had attended to two wounds on the pris-oners left hand, cuts from a sharp instrument. The razor produced would cause all the wounds. Police constable Jacobs, 77H, said at 9.40 he heard cries of "Stop him," and saw the prisoner held by two or threemen. At the station when charged he made no answer. After being placed in a cell witness was watching him, and theprisoner said, "I intended doing it; I put the razor into my pocket this morning. She is always following me about of anight when I come from places of amusement. I have been on the spree for a fortnight." Mr. Moore said the latter statement took him by surprise. The prisoner had given him no account of the matter, butdenied having been "on the spree." His friends said he was quiet, inoffensive man. Inspector Beck, H Division, said there were other witnesses, and he asked for a remand, and that the magistratewould certify for legal aid. Mr. Bushby granted a remand, and marked the charge sheet that he thought the Treasuryshould afford legal aid to the police. The prisoner in appearance is a quiet, respectable looking young man. He made no remark during the hearing orwhen remanded. With respect to the suggestion made in cross examination that the woman robbed the prisoner, it wasstated by him that the prosecutrix put her hand into his coat pockets, that his silk handkerchief was stolen, and thatthree women rushed into the room to rob him. As to his reported statement to the constable that he had been ‘on thespree’ for a fortnight, it is somewhat confirmed by the fact that the period had elapsed since the prisoner left his lastsituation as barman at the Dudley Arms, Harrow road, Paddington. Prosecutrix has parents in Turville street, Bethnalgreen, and her father was in court. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 54
  • 56. Illustrated Police News17 December 1892 WHITECHAPEL OUTRAGE. On Friday, Mr. Bushby, sitting at Worship street, completed the magisterial investigation into the charge preferredagainst Albert Edward Hawthorne, twenty one, described as a barman, giving an address in Gibraltar walk, Bethnalgreen, with having feloniously wounded with intent to kill and murder a young woman named Mary Ann Johnson by cut-ting her throat with a razor. The facts of the case will be remembered. The woman is one of the ‘unfortunate’class, living in Spitalfields. Herstory was that, having met the prisoner on Friday night, the 2nd inst., she at his solicitation took him home to her lodg-ing, and that after a few minutes had passed she found the prisoner in the act of cutting her throat. She struggled andseized the razor. The prisoner tried to wrench the weapon from her, and the razor broke from the handle. Then he ranfrom the room and she got out and subsequently went to the station. She had two wounds in her neck, besides theinjury to her hand. The prisoners fingers on the left hand were also cut. The prosecutrix was now recalled, and, cross examined by Mr. Moore, she denied having seen a silk handkerchief inthe prisoners possession, and also that she searched his pockets. Mr. Moore asked her if she had not met the prisonerby appointment on the Friday, the appointment being made the night before. She said it was so. The razor case wasproduced, and she denied that she had taken it from his coat pocket thinking it might be a jewellery case. Emma Smith, living in the same house, which is transpired is in Wilkes court, Pearl street, deposed that she firstheard the prosecutrix running down to her saying, "Will you get me a policeman? Hes cut my throat." She had bothhands to her neck, and she was bleeding. Prisoner tried to escape by a back way, but a man stopped him, and then heran up Pearl street. A young man tried to stop him, but the prisoner was too strong for him. Cross examined, she saidshe thought if there had been a struggle in the room she would have heard it, as the house was so quiet. Other peoplewere in the room adjoining that of the prosecutrix. Mary Ann King, a girl apparently not more than seventeen years old, appeared in the witness box in a gigantic hatof velvet and red feathers. She also lives in the house, and her evidence merely went to bear out the statement of theother women as to the prisoner running away and his arrest. Charles Cook, in the employ of the London and North Western railway, said that he saw a man named Wicks strug-gling with the prisoner. Wicks let him go, someone having called out, "Hes got a knife." Witness, however, seizedHawthorne from behind, pinioning his two arms. The prisoner then received the usual formal caution, in reply to which he said, "Not guilty." Mr. Moore suggested bail,remarking that the prisoner was a very respectable man, with good references. Mr. Bushby said that if the referenceswere the highest in the land he should not take bail. Hawthorne was then fully committed for trial at the CentralCriminal Court.Reynolds News18 December 1892 ANOTHER OUTRAGE IN WHITECHAPEL. A WOMANS THROAT CUT. Albert Edward Hawthorne, a barman, was charged before Mr. Bushby at Worship street Police Court yesterday morn-ing with attempting to murder Emma Johnson, known as Mary Ann Smith, aged thirty (Deaf Emma), and by various otheraliases, at 13 Pearl street, Spitalfields. Inspector Beck appeared to prosecute, and Mr. W.T. Moore defended. TheProsecutrix, whose face was bound up in flannel, said that the prisoner accompanied her to her room, and, before hehad been in more than a minute, cut her throat and attempted to murder her. She screamed "Murder! Police!" and somepeople came. She remembered nothing particularly after that. Cross examined: She denied that she took a silk hand-kerchief from prisoner, or attempted to rifle his pocket. He had no reason to quarrel with her. The further cross exam- Ripperologist 98 December 2008 55
  • 57. ination of the witness, whose evidence, owing to her deafness and dazed condition, was not very intelligible, was post-poned. Dr. Percy John Clark, of 2 Spitalfields square, said he was called to Commercial street Police Station, and sawthe woman Johnson suffering from a severe wound in the throat. A flap of skin about 2in. wide and 1.5in. in length,was hanging down. There was also a deep cut across the inside of her thumb. All the wounds might have been causedby the razor produced, which had bloodstains upon it. Cross examined: Though the wound on the throat was in a slant-ing direction, he could not say that it must have been done in a struggle. The wound on the thumb was probably soinflicted. Police constable Arthur Jacobs stated that the prisoner made a statement to him when in the cell. Theaccused said, "I intended doing it. I put the razor in my pocket this morning. She has always followed me about at nightwhen I came from places of amusement. I have been on the spree for a fortnight." In cross examination, the Constablesaid he never suggested that the prisoner should speak. The inspector sent him to watch that the prisoner did notattempt to hurt himself. The accused was quite cool when he made the statement. The razor case was found in pris-oners pocket. The prisoner was then remanded till next Friday.Illustrated Police News24 December 1892 THE WHITECHAPEL OUTRAGE. At the Central Criminal Court, on Friday, before Mr. Baron Pollock, Albert Edward Hawthorne, aged twenty one, wasindicted for maliciously wounding Mary Ann Johnson, with an attempt to murder. Mr. Bodkin and Mr. Eldridge prosecutedon behalf of the Treasury; Mr. Geoghegan defended. Counsel said that on the evening of December 1st the prisoner metthe prosecutrix in the neighbourhood of Pearl street, Commercial road, and accompanied her home. Ann appointmentwas made for a meeting the next evening, which the woman kept. She again took the man to her rooms. An inmate ofthe room adjoining that to which the parties went heard them enter, and, after a short conversation, she heard thewoman scream. The prisoner, on her calling out, left the room and proceeded to leave the house. The prosecutrix wasseen coming from the room, her hands applied to her throat, which was streaming with blood from a wound. Somepassers by seeing the woman outside the house, and the prisoner hurrying away, went to stop him. On being seized theman became very violent, threw one of the men to the ground, but the latter managed to seize hold of his clothing, and drag him also to the ground. Assistance was Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey obtained, and the man was secured. He was per- fectly sober; he made no resistance to the police, but threatened to do something for the men who had stopped him, unless they left him alone. The version of the prosecutrix was that as she was with the man in the man, she saw him put his right ha(n)d to his side pocket, and, pro- ducing a razor, he made a cut on her throat with it. She screamed "Police" and "Murder." The pris- oner got up and stood by the bedside. The razor fell to the floor, but he picked it up, and made another attempt to cut her throat. She strug- gled, in the course of which her fingers were cut. The man left the room. She followed downstairs into the court, where she told the inmates of the house that the prisoner had cut her throat. The prisoner made no reply to the charge. He was Ripperologist 98 December 2008 56
  • 58. placed in a cell at the station and a watch was placed over him. In the evening prisoner said to the policeman, in whosecharge he was, "I intended to do it; I put the razor in my pocket this morning. She is always following me when I comefrom places of amusement. I have been out on the spree for about a fortnight." There appeared to be no motive forthe crime. The prosecutrix was then called, and she detailed the circumstances under which the assault was committed. In cross examination, she denied that she put her hand into the pocket of the prisoner and attempted to rob him,thinking that the razor case was jewel case. Mr. Geoghegan called no witnesses for the defence, and Mr. Bodkin summed up the case for the jury. He observedthat there really could be no dispute as to the prisoner having been the person who used the dangerous weapon on theprosecutrix, and the question, which he submitted to the jury, was whether or no, at the time he committed the act,which was an unjustifiable one, even if the woman had attempted to rob him, the man had an intention of taking herlife, or intended merely to inflict grievous bodily harm. The jury found the prisoner guilty of unlawfully wounding. The learned Judge, in passing sentence, said that it wasessential that the lives and persons of women of the class to which prosecutrix belonged should be protected. He sen-tenced prisoner to eighteen months hard labour. Prisoner: I am innocent of the crime, my lord.Birmingham Daily Post4 July 1894 It was stated that the Rev. James Walker, of Hilcot, Cheltenham, had presented the sum of £800 to the Police SeasideHome at Brighton, on condition that a bed shall always be at the disposal of the Chief Constable for the use of a mem-ber of the Gloucestershire constabulary. This gentleman is also building a small house which he would like to be a sortof police almshouse, where a superannuated officer might live, and which he would give to the county on certain con-ditions. A resolution was passed thanking Mr Walker for his benefactions.Western Mail19 January 1899 WHITECHAPEL MURDERS DID "JACK THE RIPPER" MAKE A CONFESSION? We have received (says the Daily Mail) from a clergyman of the Church of England, now a North Country vicar, aninteresting communication with reference to the great criminal mystery of our times — that enshrouding the perpetra-tion of the series of crimes which have come to be known as the ‘Jack the Ripper’ murders. The identity of the mur-derer is as unsolved as it was while the blood of the victims was yet wet upon the pavements. Certainly Major ArthurGriffiths, in his new work on Mysteries of Police and Crime, suggests that the police believe the assassin to have beena doctor, bordering on insanity, whose body was found floating in the Thames soon after the last crime of the series;but as the major also mentions that this man was one of three known homicidal lunatics against whom the police "heldvery plausible and reasonable grounds of suspicion," that conjectural explanation does not appear to count for muchby itself. Our correspondent the vicar now writes: I received information in professional confidence, with directions to publish the facts after ten years, and thenwith such alterations as might defeat identification. The murderer was a man of good position and otherwise unblemished character, who suffered from epileptic mania, Ripperologist 98 December 2008 57
  • 59. and is long since deceased. I must ask you not to give my name, as it might lead to identification" — meaning the identification of the perpe-trator of the crimes. We thought at first the vicar was at fault in believing that ten years had passed yet since the last murder of theseries, for there were other somewhat similar crimes in 1889. But, on referring again to major Griffithss book, we findhe states that the last ‘Jack the Ripper’ murder was that in Millers Court on November 9, 1888 — a confirmation of thevicars sources of information. The vicar enclosed a narrative, which he called The Whitechapel Murders — Solution ofa London Mystery. This he described as "‘substantial truth under fictitious form.’ "Proof for obvious reasons impossible— under seal of confession," he added in reply to an inquiry from us. Failing to see how any good purpose could be served by publishing substantial truth in fictitious form, we sent a rep-resentative North to see the vicar, to endeavour to ascertain which parts of the narrative were actual facts. But thevicar was not to be persuaded, and all that our reporter could learn was that the rev. gentleman appears to know withcertainty the identity of the most terrible figure in the criminal annals of our times, and that the vicar does not intendto let anyone else into the secret. The murderer died, the vicar states, very shortly after committing the last murder. The vicar obtained his informa-tion from a brother clergyman, to whom a confession was made — by whom the vicar would not give even the mostguarded hint. The only other item which a lengthy chat with the vicar could elicit was that the murderer was a manwho at one time was engaged in rescue work among the depraved woman of the East End — eventually his victims; andthat the assassin was at one time a surgeon.Illustrated Police News28 January 1899 IDENTITY OF "JACK THE RIPPER" A SECRET OF THE CONFESSIONAL To the long list of "solutions" of the great ‘Jack the Ripper’ mystery, there is now added another — possibly the finalone, possibly not. It comes from a clergyman of the Church of England, a north country vicar, who claims to know with certainty theidentity of the most terrible figure in the bloodstained annals of crime — the perpetrator of that horrible series of Eastend murders which ten years ago startled the whole civilised world. The clergyman in question declines to divulge the name of the culprit, being unable to do so without violating thesecrecy of the confessional. He states, however, that he obtained his information from a brother clergyman to whomthe murderer made a full and complete confession. The vicar writes: I received information in professional confidence, with directions to publish the facts after ten years, and thenwith such alterations as might defeat identification. The murderer was a man of good position and otherwise unblemished character, who suffered from epileptic mania,and is long since deceased. I must ask you not to give my name, as it might lead to identification. The ten years were completed on November 9 last year, the final murder of the ‘Ripper’ series having taken placeon November 9, 1888, in Millers Court. There was a time when everybody had his pet theory as to the murders, but apart from speculation quite a numberof solutions of the mystery have had a more or less substantial foundation of probability. Major Arthur Griffiths, one of Her Majestys Commissioners of Prisons, hints, in his new book, Mysteries of Police and Ripperologist 98 December 2008 58
  • 60. Crime, that the police believe the assassin to have been a doctor, bordering on insanity, whose body was found in the Thames soon after the last murder of the series. He adds, however, that this man was one of three whom the police suspected. Then there was the madman who was traced to Broadmoor some five or six years ago, and against whom there was believed to be conclusive evidence; while Professor Bell of Edinburgh, who was a prominent figure in the investigation of the Ardlamont mystery, used to declare the that he also had definitely "spotted" the culprit. The clergyman who now comes forward with the latest identification declares that the assassin died shortly after the last murder of the series. Hampshire Telegraph 20 October 1900 NOT JACK THE RIPPER A man named Julius Lipman has just died in the East End of drink, neglect, and semi starvation. He was a cobbler by trade, and was known as ‘Leather Apron.’ He fell under suspicion of being Jack the Ripper, and although he completely proved his innocence the stigma never quite left him and his business dwindled away. Lipman was peculiarly unfortunate in the matter. ‘Leather Apron’ as a possible Jack the Ripper was invented by an imaginative journalist on a sensational paper. He did not suspect for a moment that there was a real man in the dis- trict known by that name. Loretta Lay Books Over 200 Jack the Ripper and associated titles on the website Colville/Lucano Jack the Ripper h/b £25 Chisholm/DeGrazia/Yost The News from Whitechapel, softcover, signed by Yost/Begg (wrote Foreword) £30 Dew (Ex-Chief Inspector Walter) I Caught Crippen, 1st edn. £350 Dew (Ex-Chief Inspector Walter) I Caught Crippen, 1st edn. £450 Eddleston (John J.) Jack the Ripper An Encyclopedia, h/b £50 Evans/Rumbelow Jack the Ripper Scotland Yard Investigates, signed new hb/dw £20 Gordon (R. Michael) Alias Jack the Ripper, softcover £20 Haynes/Schachner Jack the Ripper, Or The Crimes of London, new facsimile hb/dw signed andMAIL ORDER ONLY numbered £7024 Grampian Gardens, Holgate (Mike) Jack the Ripper The Celebrity Suspects, new softcover £10London NW2 1JG Jones/Lloyd The Ripper File, hb/dw £60Tel 020 8455 3069 Lynch (Terry) Jack the Ripper The Whitechapel Murderer, new p/b £ Marriott (Trevor) The Evil Within, new p/b signed £ Palmer (Scott) Jack the Ripper. A Reference Guide, h/b £25 Punch, Or the London Charivari June - December 1888 h/b £120 Raper (Michell) Who Was Jack the Ripper? p/b numbered limited edn. £75 Robinson (Tom) The Whitechapel Horrors, p/b Daisy Bank facsimile £20 Sims (George R.) My Life, (Presentation copy to Marshall Hall) h/b £200 Stewart (William) Jack the Ripper, 1st edn. £750 Stewart (William) Jack the Ripper, 1st edn. £900 Whittington-Egan (Molly) Doctor Forbes Winslow, signed hb/dw £35 Ripperologist 98 December 2008 59
  • 61. All the news that’s fit to print...I Beg to Report ‘DEPRAVED KILLER’ ROBERT NAPPER COMPARED TO MODERN-DAY RIPPER. The reported savagery of Robert Napper makes him the latest modern murderer that the press and law enforcement officials have compared to Jack the Ripper. He killed and mutilated blonde mothers in front of their children. Napper’s crimes, which occurred during a four-year reign of terror from 1989 into the 1990’s, were not fully realised because of a profiler’s failure to link his crimes as well as police fixation on jailing another man for his most notorious crime, the murder and mutilation of Rachel Nickell. Police now believe that DNA and other evidence links Napper to seven crimes: three murders, two rapes and two attempted rapes. However, it is thought that he may have been responsible for a number of other crimes as well. The offender has refused to discuss any other cases unless police can pro- duce scientific proof of his guilt. It is believed that Napper terrorised as many as 86 women in a series of assaults in southeast London. These assaults were dubbed the ‘Green Chain attacks’ because of their proximity to a walking route of that name. The Green Chain is a linked system of parks and open spaces between the Thames and Crystal Palace. Napper, a paranoid schizophrenic who suffers from delusions of grandeur, has now been committed to Broadmoor maximum security hospital in Berkshire. Regardless of possible future prosecutions for other crimes, Napper is likely to die there. Forensic psychiatrist Professor Don Grubin said that Napper’s combi- nation of schizophrenia with Asperger syndrome was a ‘particularly toxic’ mix. Psychologists believe his murderous signature of attacking women with chil- dren may be attributed to a childhood marked by abuse and violence. Robert Napper Robert Clive Napper was born 25 February 1966, in a hospital in Erith, south- east London. He was the first son of driving instructor, Brian Napper, and his wife Pauline. The home was a violent one for this first 10 years of life until the couple divorced. Mrs Napper’s health suffered and her children spent time in fos- ter homes. It is believed that at age 12, young Robert Napper was sexually assaulted while on a camping trip by a fam- ily friend. The increase in the savagery of Napper’s attacks is said to have been linked to the worsening of his mental illness, a theory of course similar to some theories of the general escalation in savagery seen in the Ripper case of 1888, that the killer’s mind was giving out leading to the savagery of the killing and extensive mutilation of Mary Jane Kelly on the morning of 9 November 1888. Although Napper left a trail of fingerprints, footprints, DNA and other traces at various crime scenes, it took police years to piece together a link between him and the evidence. Meanwhile the offender was repeatedly stopped by Ripperologist 98 December 2008 60
  • 62. police, questioned, arrested and even charged and, at one point, jailed. In October 1992, Napper was arrested when a search of his flat uncovered firearms, ammunition, knives and a cross-bow. He was jailed for eight weeks. He was stopped in July 1993 when he was observed as a ‘peeping Tom’ looking into a 24-year-old woman’s windows.He was let go after he explained he was just going for a walk. One police officer wrote in his notebook: ‘Subjectstrange, abnormal, should be considered as a possible rapist, indecency type suspect.’ With police activity increased as they focused their hunt on trying to catch the Green Chain attacker, Napper changedhis hunting ground to Wimbledon in southwest London. There he attacked attractive part-time model Ms Nickell as she walked on Wimbledon Common with her son, Alex,aged 2. As the hysterical toddler watched, Napper stabbed the Scottish-born mother 49 times and mutilated her body.When found, the toddler was standing by his mother’s body, crying ‘Wake up, Mummy.’ The police were reluctant to investigate Napper for the Nickell murder because they believed they already had theirman: loner Colin Stagg who lived close to Wimbledon Common. A month after the Nickell killing, Napper was interviewed in regard to the Green Chain rapes. He was asked by policeto give a DNA sample but twice failed to keep appointments. Finally, he was eliminated him from the inquiry because,at 6ft 2ins, he appeared to be taller than the man described in witness statements. But then, with Mr Stagg in custody, on 4 November 1993, Napper broke into the flat of Samantha Bissett and stabbedher to death before sexually assaulting and suffocating her four-year-old daughter Jazmine. He then mutilated MsBissett’s body, creating a scene that has been compared to the 1888 murder and mutilation of Mary Jane Kelly. Reflecting back on the Napper case and the mutilation of Ms Bissett, Mike Sullivan, Crime Editor of The Sun noted,‘So shocking was the sight Napper left that the female police photographer who took the scene-of-crime pictures hasbeen unable to work again.’ But at the time, Paul Britton, a profiler working with the police, was asked if one man had killed both Ms Nickelland Ms Bissett, and he dismissed the idea. ‘It was a completely different scenario,’ he told them. Although the extensive mutilation of Ms Bissett reminded the profiler of the murder mutilation of Mary Jane Kelly in1888, he remained adamant that, despite the similarities between the Nickell and Bissett killings, two men must havedone the killings. Napper was not arrested for the Bissett murders until May 1994 even though his bloody finger and palm prints werediscovered in the victims’ flat. One of the key pieces of evidence was a bloody footprint found in the Bissetts’ flat thatpolice linked to a pair of Napper’s trainers. Napper emerged as the prime suspect in the Nickell case after police began a review of the case in 2002. The reviewteam provided items of Miss Nickell’s clothing to forensic scientists, who identified microscopic DNA traces belongingto her killer. Forensic psychologist Professor Laurence Alison said: ‘Napper’s crimes are disturbing mirror images of Jack theRipper’s, even though a century divides them. Both the Ripper and Napper committed acts of gross mutilation. Bothwere obsessed with blades. Both derived sexual pleasure from the suffering of others. This psychological perversion canbe used to classify both men as serial sexually-sadistic killers.’ The Times wrote: ‘The case against [Colin] Stagg seemed unstoppable until it reached the Old Bailey, where MrJustice Ognall condemned it as a gross attempt to incriminate. But only yesterday [18 December] was the file closedon one of Britain’s most horrific murders and one of the most shameful episodes of the Metropolitan Police.’‘Delusional, depraved, terrifying: a murderer to match the Ripper - Robert Napper The Killer,’ bySean O’Neill, The Times, London, UK, 19 December‘Ripper loved to butcher blonde mothers in front of their children,’ by Mike Sullivan, Crime Editor, The Sun, London,UK, 19 December 2008‘Rachel Nickell case: Robert Napper killed Scots mum and her daughter, age 4,’ by Charlie Gall, Daily Record, London,UK, 19 December 2008 Ripperologist 98 December 2008 61
  • 63. HUNT FOR FEMALE SERIAL KILLER ‘JILL THE TRIPPER’ CONTINUES. Based on DNA evidence, international police areseeking a ‘Jill the Tripper’—a nation-hopping female serial killer and burglar also known as ‘The Woman Without a Face’or ‘The Phantom of Heilbronn’, because no witness has ever seen her. The unknown woman has committed burglariesand murders across Europe and is believed to sometimes work with an accomplice. Evidence shows the woman has killed at least three victims in a murder and burglary spree over fifteen years. Duringthe spree, the woman has cut a wide swathe across southern Germany, France and Austria. The offender’s DNA has beenidentified at some thirty crime scenes. Evidence also appears to show she is a heroin addict which explains her needto keep on robbing. The trail of female DNA left by the woman included the April 2007 murder of her last murder victim, MicheleKiesewetter, a 22-year-old German policewoman, who was shot to death in Heilbronn, Germany. Kiesewetter and her male colleague were enjoying rolls and coffee during a lunch break in their patrol car while onan undercover drugs assignment. At least two people are believed to have climbed into the back of the car and shotboth officers in the head. Although Kiesewetter died instantly, her partner lingered in a coma for months before the bullet lodged behind hisright eye was removed. He was unable to remember any details of the episode. The only things stolen from the policeofficers was their handcuffs. However, the female killer’s DNA was found in the patrol car. Chief Superintendent Horst Haug of Special Commission Parkplatz said, ‘It was brutal, apparently random and withno apparent motive.’ He added, ‘What are we dealing with here? And who is the accomplice?’ Since no DNA matcheshave been found for an accomplice between crime scenes, it is thought that the mystery killer picks up partners and Police in Heilbronn, Germany, march with a photograph honouring Michele Kiesewetter, a fellow officer killed by the woman serial killer nick-named ‘the woman without a face’. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 63
  • 64. abandons them with regularity. The killer’s first victim is believed to have been 62-year-old churchwarden Lieselotte Schlenger, killed in 1993 in thetown of Idar-Oberstein, Germany. The killer’s DNA was found on the rim of a floral-print tea cup in Ms Schlenger’s apart-ment. The victim had been strangled with wire from a bouquet of flowers. In 2001, the killer struck again, in the southwestern German university city of Freiburg. The body of Jozef Walzenbach,61, a respected antiques dealer, was found in his shop. Similar to the Schlenger murder, the antiques trader was stran-gled with a length of garden twine, and a small amount of cash was stolen. In October 2001, seven-year-old Juergen Bueller was walking along a leafy lane in Gerolstein, a German spa townnot far from the Belgian border, when he found a syringe containing trace of heroine and DNA that has been linked tothe killer. Interpol linked the DNA to several burglaries in small shops. In autumn 2004, the woman broke into gardensheds in the Austrian Tyrol, leaving a pair of tracksuit bottoms, a hooded cardigan and other items. The killer’s DNA alsoturned up at burglary scenes in France. On New Year’s Day, 2003, the Jill the Tripper broke into an office. She stole nothing but a coffee tin full of loosechange. Police deemed it a professional job, since as at other scenes, the offender left no fingerprints. But she diedleave a minute scraping of her skin again leading to the DNA identification that she had done the break-in. ‘It is very difficult indeed not to leave a genetic clue,’ said Chief Superintendent Haug. The Woman Without a Face, Jill the Tripper, or the Phantom, whatever you wish to call her, is ‘intriguing and dis-turbing’ in equal measure said Viennese psychiatrist Kurt Kletzer, who profiled Austrian incest father Josef Fritzl forthe book Monster by Alan Hall. Kletzer added, ‘Stealing small amounts of cash is an indicator that she has needs which must be served, but shedoesn’t go for the “big score” which might trap her. The fact that she sometimes uses an accomplice suggests she is amanipulator and an adept one at that.’ The profiler added, ‘Like Fritzl, she is able to project an aura of normalcy while being anything but. She is compelledto murder to feed her own habit, thus reducing the victim to the status of a worthless object.’ No fingerprint evidence has been found at any of the crime scenes. Because Heilbronn is on a bus route to Romania,there has been some speculation that the ‘Phantom’ might be an immigrant from Romania or a gypsy involved in drugtrafficking.‘Jill the tripper eludes her captors,’ by Alan Hall, Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia, 17 November HOLMES VS RIPPER VIDEO GAME. Tom Chick, editor of the video and computer game site, comments inregard to an upcoming Sherlock Holmes versus Ripper video game: ‘Sherlock Holmes has already gone up against Cthulhu. Where do you go from there? Well, nowhere. You hang upyour deerstalker and call it a life. But this is videogaming. This is a series of successful adventure games. There aresequels to be made. So what’s a close second to Cthulhu? Okay, no such thing. What’s a distant second to Cthulhu? Howabout Jack the Ripper?’ Is Mr Chick dissing our favourite serial killer? Mmm? At any rate, here’s the dope on the game: Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper will offer players two different 3D view modes, a third-person view in the pureadventure game point & click style and a first-person view. The player will be able to play in one or the other modeor even combine them for greater immersion in this terrifying adventure. The player will also be able to use a uniquenew system for piecing together crimes in order to test hypotheses as the investigation progresses, in order to find Ripperologist 98 December 2008 64
  • 65. Holmes versus Jack — who will you put your money on?the terrifying serial killer’s bloody trail. Mr Chick continues: ‘Piecing together crimes? The crimes themselves? Like, dramatic re-enactments? Flashbacks?Sounds good to me. This [video game] will be out in March.’‘Sherlock Holmes intends to collar Jack the Ripper,’ by Tom Chick of, Los Angeles, California, USA, 3December 2008 GOLD ROLEX WATCH SENT TO YORKSHIRE RIPPER. We heard that the late Albert Johnson was once offered an astro-nomical sum for the controversial Maybrick ‘Ripper’ watch, but how much would you Peter Sutcliffegive for a convicted Ripper’s watch? Well, Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe has appar-ently been sent a gift of a gold Rolex watch worth up to £30,000. Sutcliffe, who is serving a life sentence in Broadmoor maximum security hospital forthe murder of 13 women between 1975 and 1980, has been boasting about the gift. Heinsists it is a fake and is only worth a few hundred pounds. At this time, the staff ofthe institution have taken possession of the watch. A Broadmoor spokesman said that valuable items stored on the advice of an individ-ual’s clinical review team were kept until ‘such time as the patient leaves hospital’.The name of the gift-giver has not been revealed but it is known that Sutcliffe receivesup to half a dozen letters a day from women admirers. A source at the prison told The Sun: ‘Bosses feared that it could be used to bribesomebody—or that if he was allowed to wear the watch it could be stolen and he couldsue them for compensation.’ The source added: ‘The Rolex was locked up for safe- Ripperologist 98 December 2008 65
  • 66. keeping—and Sutcliffe has gone potty about it.’ Sutcliffe, 62, has been the victim of repeated attacks during his time in prison, and lost an eye in one attack. Hehas insisted that he wants the watch even though giving him the watch could leave him open to further violence fromfellow prisoners. It is understood that officials at the Berkshire hospital plan to have the watch valued to assess its true worth. The source said: ‘Whether it is a fake or the real thing, it is felt that Sutcliffe will make himself a real target if hestruts around with a serious bit of bling on.’‘Ripper’s £30K Rolex watch,’ by Jamie Pyatt, The Sun, London, UK, 3 December PLEASE DON’T GIVE US TOO MANY HINTS! We quote: ‘His’ name is still unknown; however, ‘his’ terrible crimes disturb society until nowadays. Do you knowwho we are talking about? Well, here are more hints. . . Those horrible events took place in London. It was the autumn of 1888. . . Have you already guessed who it is? Ofcourse, we talk about Jack the Ripper! Who was that Jack the Ripper? Or, maybe, who were those people? Some historians believe that Jack the Ripper didnot commit these crimes alone. It could probably be a group of people. So, you have a chance to conduct your ownresearch in your Jack the Ripper coursework. Your Jack the Ripper coursework will be a kind of an investigation coursework. So, our hints can be just in time for you. Do you need several ideas to start writing your Jack the Ripper coursework? Well, we are glad to provide catchyfacts about that mysterious figure in the history of criminology. You may start your Jack the Ripper coursework and: Briefly describe the general situation in the country at those times in your Jack the Ripper coursework. Englandwas a really powerful country: international commerce, great fleet and property. Its core was London. 31 August,1888, the East End, the dead body of a 42-year old prostitute was found. . . Find more information about the suspects: Joseph Barnett, George Chapman, John Pizer, and others. Study theircases and give your opinion in Jack the Ripper coursework. Mention those letters Jack the Ripper sent to the police.What were they about? Why did the killer send them? Giveanswers to these questions in your Jack the Ripper course-work. Watch the movie ‘From Hell’. It is one of the best screenversions about Jack the Ripper. It may be much helpful forwriting Jack the Ripper coursework. Your future GCSE History coursework may be about thisvery person. So, never refuse to read more about legendaryJack the Ripper. Good luck.‘300 Words for Your Jack the Ripper Coursework’, blog entryunder ‘Coursework Writing’ at, 2 December2008 Ripperologist 98 December 2008 66
  • 67. CONTROVERSY OVER INTERNET AUCTION OF SERIAL KILLER LETTERS AND ARTWORK. Letters and artwork by Britishserial killers Peter Sutcliffe and Rose West offered for sale on a controversial US internet auction site have provoked astorm of protest. British seller Adam Walsh is offering the macabre items on which specialises in selling serialkillers’ memorabilia. Relatives of murder victims have complained about the activities of the auction site and have tried unsuccessfullyto close it down. Walsh, a shop assistant from Beckenham, south-east London, is unapologetic about the sale. He toldThe Sunday Telegraph: ‘I appreciate that some people may not like it. It’s just a hobby. There’s no harm in it.’ Walsh has asked £500 for a 1981 poem handwritten and illustrated by Yorkshire Ripper Sutcliffe.Other letters by Sutcliffe written from Broadmoor maximum security psychiatric hospital are offered for £200 to £250.The poem, written in the year of his arrest, is illustrated by Sutcliffe with two birdlike figures, signed ‘PWS’, and dated1981. The seller, Walsh, said he obtained it from Sandra Lester, a former pen pal of Sutcliffe. It is offered for sale with a ‘letter of authenticity’ signed by Ms Lester. The poem, in Sutcliffe’s handwriting, is a transcription of a poem by the 19th century American writer Henry VanDyke. It reads: ‘Time is: Too slow for those who wait; Too swift for those who fear; Too long for those who grieve; Tooshort for those who rejoice; But for those who love: “Time is eternity”!’ Also on offer by Walsh on the controversial internet site is a rare three-page letter from Rose West, the ‘House ofHorrors’ killer and widow of Fred West, jailed in 1995 for committing 10 murders. In the letter, written to a friend named ‘Bill’, from Durham prison, West claims she is innocent of the 10 murders.The letter carries a starting price of £300. In his description of the letter, Walsh mentions that he has not seen Westletters for sale before. West’s former solicitor has said he had ‘no doubt in my mind that this letter is genuine’. In regard to the sale of items associated with the Yorkshire Ripper, Leeds resident Richard McCann, son of Sutcliffe’sfirst victim, Wilma McCann, protested: ‘It is an insult to the people who were killed and those who were left behind tosuffer the aftermath of Sutcliffe’s crimes. I am horrified. It is against common decency, and you have to question thevalues of someone prepared to do this.’ McCann was just five years old when his mother, then aged 28, was hit on the head with a hammer by Sutcliffe. Heensured her death by subsequently stabbing her four times. Of course, we can understand the feelings of the relatives of the murder victims about the sale of such artifacts.And indeed some might question how people would want to buy memorabilia associated with murderers. However, isit really that different to people who want to Fred and Rosemary Westown coins of Nero or Caligula or a letter by‘Jack the Ripper’? Possibly it is the freshness inmemory of more recent murders that mightmake ownership of such artifacts by killers inour lifetime seem odious.‘Letters from Peter Sutcliffe and Rose West forsale on internet,’ by David Barrett, HomeAffairs Correspondent, The Sunday Telegraph,London, UK, 30 November Ripperologist 98 December 2008 67
  • 68. YOUR DRINK FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON, OR HOW TO MAKE A ‘JACK THE RIPPER.’ 2 1/2 oz Crown Royal 3/4 oz Butterscotch schnapps How to MIX it Level ice to top in shaker, pour Crown Royal and Buttershots. Shake. Strain into brandy snifter. ‘Drink for the Day’, National Bartenders Blog,’ December 2008 KNIFE CRIME ON THE INCREASE AMONG EAST END TEENS. The East London Advertiser reports that Members ofParliament were informed at the end of November about an alarmingly significant increase in knife violence as a resultof teenage gang activity. A consultant surgeon informed the MPs that the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel hastreated 70 knife victims under 20 years old so far this year, compared to nine in 2003. Some victims treated for stabwounds at East London’s major trauma have been teens as young as 13. Consultant trauma surgeon Karim Brohi told the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee that the stabbing victims includefive children who had to be admitted. By contrast, up to a year ago, medics never had to treat a child for stab wounds. Including adult cases, Prof Brohi said that he estimated that the Royal London would deal with nearly 280 seriousstabbings by the end of the year, in comparison to only 68 in 2003. He said that the number of people injured in drunk-en street fights remained unchanged. The consultant surgeon blamed the increase in the number of knife wounds on teenage gangs, particularly gangs whowere recruiting school children. He told the MPs: ‘The teenagers have different reasons for carrying a weapon.’ Although95 per cent of the stabbing victims were boys, he believed more teenage girls were carrying knives as well. Prof Brohi said that over half of the stabbings that he saw were clearly intended to be fatal, with attackers aimingat the victim’s head or chest. Meanwhile, a survey of US teenagers showed that: ‘Many teenagers [are] accepting, apathetic toward violence.’ The survey revealed that ‘More than 25 percent ofthe nation’s teenagers consider violent behavior acceptable, even justifiable for the thrill of a fight—an attitude thatcould have disturbing implications for school safety and workplace ethics.’ The results indicated that most teens justified usingviolence in self-defense, but a third of them rationalizedusing violence to settle an argument or for revenge. Sean Rush, president of Junior Achievement Worldwide,said: ‘The results of the survey reveal considerable ethicalrelativism among teens and raises questions about their abil-ity to make good decisions later in life.’ Rush’s organizationhas released a national poll of 750 youths, ages 12 to 17, whoanswered questions on ethical decision-making. Rush said,‘We’re understandably concerned about these results.’‘Knife crime soars as surgeon blames teenage gangs, MPstold’ by Gemma Collins, East London Advertiser, London,UK, 26 November‘Survey: Teens accepting, apathetic toward violence,’ byCarolyn Peirce, Baltimore Examiner, 17 December Ripperologist 98 December 2008 68
  • 69. A NEW BOOK FROM SOMEONE WE KNOW. Rip Contributing Editor Chris Scott announces: ‘I am just printing a new book about The Ripper in Ramsgate A5 50 pages £3.99 post free in the UK. In the autumn of 1888 a series of brutal murders gained lasting fame and will be forever associated with the name of “Jack the Ripper.” ‘This infamous and unidentified killer has passed into folklore and myth as the most noto- rious murderer in history. The Whitechapel murders became a cause celebre which spread suspicion and speculation to all parts of the country. This book examines some of the con- nections between these infamous killings in the East End of London and a seaside town in the East of Kent, our very own Ramsgate. ‘Who was the mysterious lodger who stayed in Ramsgate two years after the mur- ders? Why did the brother of one of the main suspects come to live in Ramsgate? Who was the eccentric artist who lived and taught in Thanet, believed by some to be Jack the Ripper? What was the connection between Ramsgate and a former lover of the Ripper’s last victim?’ ‘The Ripper in Ramsgate’ by Christopher Scott, Saturday, 13 December WHITECHAPEL GALLERY BEING RENOVATED. The Belgian architectural firm Robbrecht & Daem is currently enlargingthe Whitechapel Gallery at 80-82 Whitechapel High Street. The Whitechapel, founded in 1901, is the first art gallery inLondon built expressly to house contemporary art. The Whitechapel’s Arts and Crafts building is being joined to the adjacent former Passmore Edwards Library build-ing that dates to 1892 as part of a $20 million renovation and expansion. During the renovation most of the gallery hasbeen closed to the public since February 2007. The newly renovated Whitechapel Gallery is expected to reopen to thepublic in April 2009. In collaboration with the London architects Witherford Watson Mann, the Belgian firm will create 78 percent moregallery space, an updated educational area, studios, cafeteria, bookstore and research room devoted to an archive doc-umenting the gallery’s history. Whitechapel’s director Iwona Blazwick said the expansion would allow the gallery to show public and private collec-tions that ‘have been languishing in crates or have never before been seen by the public.’ Yorkshire-born Charles Aitken CB (1869–1936) was the first director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery from 1901 to 1911;he would later become keeper and director of the Tate Gallery. The aim of the Whitechapel was ‘to bring great art tothe people of East London.’ The Whitechapel Gallery and the library were built by 19th-century philanthropists to pro-vide education and culture to the East End, known at the time for being an area of poverty and crime, the impover-ished home of Jack London’s People of the Abyss. In recent years, an influx of artists into the East End has recently brought fresh life to the area. Around 180 gal-leries have opened in the area in the last few years. Today the East End has the largest concentration of artists any-where in Europe, Ms Blazwick said. Historically, the Whitechapel was London’s initial showcase for many of the world’s great modern artists. In January1939, the gallery exhibited Picasso’s ‘Guernica’—the artist’s depiction of the horrors of the Spanish Civil War—on itsfirst and only visit to Britain. As an acknowledgement of the historic nature of that showing of Picasso’s work, a mural-size tapestry based on thepainting will be displayed in the former library’s central reading room. The tapestry will be the centerpiece of an instal-lation by Polish-born artist and London resident Goshka Macuga. Upcoming at the Whitechapel, is ‘The Whitechapel Boys,’ a show devoted to Jewish painters and writers from theturn of the 20th century. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 69
  • 70. The Whitechapel Gallery Ms Blazwick explained, ‘Our broader programming is partly cutting-edge, partly historic. Now we will become morelike a museum.’ The director said the multi-million pound makeover was made possible by a grant in 2004 of about $5.4 million fromthe Heritage Lottery Fund. Ms Blazwick said that with this seed money, the Whitechapel was able to raise all but around $735,000 of the near-ly $20 million needed. The Whitechapel Gallery can be accessed via the Angel Alley Entrance, 80–82 Whitechapel High Street, London, E17QX, telephone +44 (0)20 7522 7888; email or visit their website at‘In East London, Whitechapel Gallery to get a $20 million facelift’, by Carol Vogel, International Herald Tribune,Neuilly, France, 9 December 2008. JACK THE RIPPER COMPUTER GAME. The Ripper transposed from Whitechapel to New York City. Here’s theplot and how to install the game. Let us know what you think of it (you can email your impressions to us at While writing a series of articles about horrible murders in the Low Side District of New York, the young reporterJimmy Palmer will soon become involved in a game of cat and mouse with an illusive [elusive?] and deadly character- Jack the Ripper. Along Palmer’s dark journey he will foster a friendship with a young singer, Abigail, the ‘Irish Nightingale,’ andmeet numerous other colorful characters of this poor district. Beginning with the search of witnesses to the crimes,Palmer’s snooping will soon lead him to investigate suspects. His daily editorials trigger the interest of the serial killerhimself, who begins to correspond with Palmer via the newspaper leading Palmer to surmise that this killer is the infa-mous Jack the Ripper! Install Notes: Unrar with WinRAR. 2) Burn the .cue and .bin with Nero Burning Rom software. 3) Install thegame. 4) And then play Ripperologist 98 December 2008 70
  • 71. Download Jack The Ripper:‘PC GAME jack the ripper,’ 13 December RIPPER TALES FROM THE FIFTIES. And more Jack the Ripper modern-day adventures. From the blog site, thehorror-sofitall: ‘Two cool Ripper tales for you today, and our first entry [“Knife of Jack the Ripper”] comes from the Feb –March 1952 issue of Eerie #5, with art by Goldfarb Baer. . . And here’s a short but violent one [“Mark of the Ripper”]from Sy Moskowitz, from the September 1954 issue of Strange Suspense Stories #21.’‘1950s Comics Featuring the Ripper. Knife of Jack the Ripper / Mark of the Ripper,’ 12 December Ripperologist 98 December 2008 71
  • 72. Its not too late! Did you attend the Jack the Ripper exhibition at the Museum in Docklands? In our last issue we asked for your thoughts, and would like to thanks thosewho sent in their comments. We hope to include those of the exhibitions Curators,which will be with us after Christmas and therefore will appear in our January issue. So, if youve not yet told us what you thought of the event, please get in touch! Ripperologist 98 December 2008 72
  • 73. Dear DiaryThe Secret World of Victorian Broadmoor at Reading MuseumUntil 22 February 2009As we reported last month, in November, the Victorian archives from Broadmoor maximum security hospital wereopened for research for the first time at Berkshire Record Office. In partnership with the opening to the publicof the files is an exhibition at Reading Museum, featuring stories from the archives.The Record Office encourages researchers and other interested parties to ‘visit the Museum of Reading to seeour Broadmoor exhibition, celebrating the completion of the first part of our Broadmoor project. View docu-ments and artefacts never before seen by the public, in an exhibition that reveals the lives of the patients, doc-tors and other staff of Broadmoor Hospital. Explore daily life inside the asylum, and discover more about patientsincluding William Chester Minor the “Surgeon of Crowthorne”, and Richard Dadd, murderer and celebratedartist.’For details of what is in the Broadmoor archive please contact Berkshire Record Office at note that only records for patients who died over 100 years ago are currently available for research.Reading Museum is located at The Town Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 1QH. Tel: +44 (0)118 9399800, Fax: +44 (0)118 939 9881. Crime: Murder & Misdemeanor in Australian ArtGeelong GalleryGeelong, Victoria, AustraliaUntil 1 February 2009An exhibition of works inspired by true crimes and their perpetrators. True crime - murder and misdemeanour inAustralian art explores the long-standing interest of Australian artists in depicting criminal activity, from theearly-1940s to contemporary times. Includes works by Albert Tucker, Sidney Nolan, Charles Blackman, ThomasGleghorn, Brett Whiteley, Garry Shead, Steve Cox, Adam Cullen, Nick Devlin, Freddie Timms, Timmy Timms, PattyBedford, Catherine Bell, Damiano Bertoli, Mark Hilton and Richard Lewer.No admission fee. The Geelong Gallery is at Little Malop Street, Geelong 3220, Australia. Telephone + 61 3 52293645.Life in the Workhouse: An Exhibition by Tessa Towner6th February 2009 to 31 March 2009Medway Archives and Local Studies CentreRochester, KentThe Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre is located at the Clocktower Building, Civic Centre, Strood,Rochester, Kent ME2 4AU, UK. Telephone: 01634 332714; fax: 01634 297060; email: is Crime? - Photography Competition and ExhibitionCentre for Crime and Justice StudiesKing’s College LondonThe deadline for entries to the What is Crime? photography competition is 1st March 2009. Entries will be con-sidered by an expert panel, with winning entries to be shown in a exhibition in the summer of 2009. Winners willbe invited to an exhibition launch and prize-giving ceremony. More details of prizes to be added soon!The competition prizes: The judging panel will select an overall competition winner, as well as a winner and run-ners-up in each of the three competition categories. 1st prize of £500 and a day at the The Independent’s pic-ture desk will be awarded to the overall competition winner. The overall competition winner will be awarded tothe person who submits the photograph that best represents the ethos of the What is Crime? Competition. 2ndprizes of £330 each will be awarded to the winner in each category. All winners and runners-up will be displayedas part of our What is Crime? Exhibition, to be held in summer 2009. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 73
  • 74. The What is Crime? ExhibitionAn exhibition will be held from July - August 2009, at the 198 Gallery - the contemporary arts and learningspace set up in Brixton in response to the social unrest of the 80s. The winning photos will be a part of thisexhibition, exploring and challenging the conventional understanding of violence, and environmental and finan-cial injustice.The competition judges: The judging panel is made up of high profile people bringing a range of expertise fromthe world of arts and academia, including photographers, criminologists, curators and even the award-winningfilm maker Ken Loach.How the judging will workEntries will be judged on whether they move the panel, and challenge thinking on what is harmful, unjust orcriminal under one of the three competition categories. The judges will select a winner and runners-up in eachof the three categories.Photographs must be submitted in digital format using the facility on our website and can be taken using any-thing from a mobile phone to a high spec manual or digital camera.The closing date will be midnight on 1st March 2009, by which time all entries will need to have been uploadedand confirmed via the email sent to your email address.The photography competition will be judged in March - April 2009. The winning entries will be those which, inthe opinion of the judges, most aptly and ably interpret the category themes. Details of the winners will bepublished on our website and all winners will be contacted by email no later than 15th May 2009. Please note,if you have not been contacted by this date, you should assume that your entry has not been successful. Pleasenote, a higher resolution picture may be requested for printing and exhibition purposes at this stage.For full information, please read the Rules and Terms & Conditions carefully using the link below. Centre for Crime and Justice Studies is located at King’s College London, Strand, WC2R 2LS, UK. Tel: 0207848 1688, Fax: 020 7848 1689, Email: Do you know of an event happening soon? Please let us know! Email us at Ripperologist 98 December 2008 74
  • 75. ReviewsThe New Annotated DraculaBram StokerEdited by Leslie S KlingerIntroduction by Neil GaimanW H Norton & Company, Inc., New York, 2008Cloth, 624 pages, 35 colour and 400 black-and-white illustrations.US$ 39.95.ISBN: 978-0-393-06450-6 The last decades of the nineteenth century saw the birth of a handful of literary char-acters that lived on to enjoy a long and fruitful career in popular arts On the side of goodwere Sherlock Holmes, the Great Detective, and, reluctantly, Raffles, the AmateurCracksman. On the side of evil were Mr Hyde, Svengali, Dracula and Jack the Ripper. Theywere all born in novels or short stories, with the exception of the Ripper, whose folkimage was fashioned mainly by eager, misinformed and imaginative journalists. Of the authors who created these char-acters—brave, consumptive Robert Louis Stevenson, under-employed physician Arthur Conan Doyle, his earnest broth-er-in-law, E W Hornung, bohemian George Du Maurier—Bram Stoker was perhaps the most intriguing. Abraham ‘Bram’ Stoker was born in Dublin in 1847 and died in London in 1812, having lived a life full of contradic-tions. A sickly child who spent years confined to bed, he recovered enough to become athletics champion at TrinityCollege and a very powerful man in later life. A sedate and studious man, he nevertheless developed an ardent admi-ration for the poetry of Walt Whitman. He married Florence Balcombe, a strong-willed, celebrated beauty who hadbeen Oscar Wilde’s first love, entered the civil service and read law. Once he seemed set on a comfortable and unevent-ful life, he befriended actor Henry Irving, resigned his position and became Irving’s business manager at London’sLyceum Theatre. Despite a punishing work schedule, he found the time to write Dracula, the foremost vampire novel,as well as several less distinguished novels, short stories and non-fiction works. Dracula is the best and best known vampire story, but not the first one. That honour belongs to The Vampyre, thework of John Polidori, Lord Byron’s personal physician, who was present at the gathering at the Villa Deodati, on theshores of Lake Geneva, which also produced Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Other noteworthy vampire fictions that pre-ceded Dracula include John Malcolm Rymer’s long and desultory Varney the Vampire or the Feast of Blood and JosephSheridan Le Fanu’s elegant Carmilla. But it was Dracula that set the pattern for all vampire stories to come. Stokerchose to narrate his story through the journal entries of his characters—some on Dictaphone records—correspondenceand newspaper accounts. The novel did not meet with great critical success, but it sold, and continued to sell, and hasnever been out of print. It is perhaps ironical that Dracula is dedicated to Hall Caine, then a best-selling novelist—andformerly close friend of Francis Tumblety—whose work has long been absent from bookshop and library shelves. Dracula has often been cannibalized for the theatre, film, television and pastiches featuring its protagonist, theseductive Count from the Carpathians. Several annotated editions have been published before, notably by LeonardWolf. Leslie S Klinger, the editor of The New Annotated Dracula, brings unique and impressive credentials to the task.He is the editor of the three-volume compilation of all Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories, The New Annotated Ripperologist 98 December 2008 75
  • 76. Sherlock Holmes, winner of the Edgar Award for BestCritical/Biographical Work, a connoisseur of Victoriana, a practic-ing lawyer and—dare we mention it?—a contributor toRipperologist. In preparation for his work, Klinger pored over several versionsof Dracula, including the published text, the notes Stoker keptwhile writing the book, a text abridged by Stoker himself and theoriginal manuscript (actually a typescript heavily annotated byStoker), now in the hands of a private collector. Klinger gainedaccess to the manuscript and was able to read passages pasted overby holding the manuscript to the light. Armed with these materials,as well as with his vast knowledge of Victoriana, vampirism andvampires, he set out to produce his own take on Dracula. As is well known, many people believe that Sherlock Holmes wasa real person. Several authors who have drawn upon Arthur ConanDoyle’s creation for their own work have chosen to perpetuate thisbelief by treating Doyle as merely the editor of Watson’s memoirsand claiming that their pastiches are in fact further chapters of thegood doctor’s reminiscences found in dispatch boxes zealously pre-served in the vaults of London banks or the safes of solicitors’ firms.Klinger, no mean Holmes scholar, has taken the same approach to Bram StokerDracula and treats Stoker as the editor of the diverse materials usedto tell the Count’s story. In this way, he is able to resolve some inner contradictions in the novel—such as Dracula’s deathat the hands of enemies using steel knives instead of the prescribed wooden stakes—by suggesting that Dracula himselfpressured Stoker into disguising the truth. According to Klinger, Stoker complied, concealing the true identity of the Countand his enemies, the location of Dracula’s castle—no longer in Transylvania, alas—and altering many of the incidentsrecounted. The obvious conclusion is that Dracula did not die but is still alive, still rising from his coffin every day at sun-set to search the blood he needs to quench his unholy thirst. But while this mischievous ploy adds pungency to Klinger’s work, it does not dominate it. The New Annotated Draculacontains the complete text of Dracula and Dracula’s Guest, a short story said to have been excised from the originalnovel because of its length, over 1,500 footnotes on such diverse subjects as contemporary travel books, scientifictexts, Victorian encyclopaedias, bicycles, premature burial prevention, the methodology of blood typing and trepan-ning, nineteenth century train schedules and tide tables and more than 400 colour and black-and-white illustrationsthat include diagrams, maps, playbills, advertisements, photographs and film stills and posters. It also offers a vampirefamily tree, a survey of vampires in stage, screen, television (Klinger’s favourite Dracula is Jack Palance) and litera-ture, a chronology, a filmography, a guide to Dracula societies and even a glossary of the now impenetrable dialect usedin Whitby—the harbour town where Dracula first landed in England. In his comprehensive study of Dracula, his kith and kin, Klinger does not forget the connections between the Countand the Ripper. As is known, Dracula kept boxes filled with his native earth at several locations throughout London—one of them in Chicksand Street, in the heart of Whitechapel. Klinger bears other Ripper connections in mind, and theimpressive bibliography includes issue 60 (October 2005) of Ripperologist, which contained several articles on the rela-tionship between the Whitechapel murderer and the blood-thirsty Count. And Neil Gaiman, who wrote the Introduction,was responsible, together with Kim Newman and Eugene Byrne, for fingering Sooty the glove puppet as Jack the Ripper. In sum, don’t walk, run to the closest bookshop and secure your own copy of The New Annotated Dracula. Take it,but don’t take it lightly, for it is a hefty tome indeed, which manages to be at the same time scholarly and entertain-ing, earnest and witty, informative and riveting. Highly recommended. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 76
  • 77. The London of Jack the Ripper: Then and NowRobert Clack and Philip HutchinsonForeword by Stewart P EvansDerby, UK: Breedon Books, 2007Hardback, 190 pp., bibliographyISBN 978-1-89583-600-2UK £14.99 Over the last three decades or so, a number of ‘Then and Now’ books have appeared inthe United Kingdom showing views of various cities going back over a hundred years andcomparing the old views of the streets to how they look now. Such titles are always enter-taining and sometimes surprising in showing how radically the areas have changed. This titleis exceptional, though, in that it considers the locations of the Whitechapel murders andprovides splendid informed commentary by two experienced researchers on the case:Robert Clack and Philip Hutchinson. It is important to note that the book encompasses all of the murders known at the time as the ‘Whitechapel mur-ders’ and not just the five so-called ‘canonical murders’ singled out by Sir Melville Macnaghten in his famous memo-randum of 1894. Naturally, as Macnaghten implied, it is unlikely that all of the women beyond the five victims he names(Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly) could have been killedby the same individual. At the time, of course, the people of London did not know that, given that many people sub-scribed to the idea that some unknown individual or conceivably a gang was bloodily culling the ‘Unfortunates’ of theEast End. The authors combed various archives for images of the sites where the murders occurred. Along with actual old andnew photographs, included are period engravings and wood block illustrations from sources such as The IllustratedPolice News and The Penny Illustrated Newspaper. The result is an eclectic mix of old and recent images. Messrs Clackand Hutchinson were also lucky in finding a positive treasure trove of photographs of the murder locations taken inSeptember 1961 by amateur criminologist John Gordon Whitby. These photographs were made available for the bookby Mr Whitby’s niece, Margaret Whitby-Green, who happens to be an acquaintance of one of the authors. By chronological order, the authors cover the crime scenes where the following women were attacked or died (orelse where their bodies where found): Annie Millwood, Ada Wilson, Emma Smith, Martha Tabram, Mary Ann (‘Polly’)Nichols, Annie Chapman, Susan Ward, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, Mary Jane Kelly, Rose Mylett, AliceMcKenzie, the unknown woman designated as the ‘Pinchin Street Torso’, and Frances Coles. The result is not only a discussion of the ‘Case’ but also of East End history, and how the locations of the murdershave altered in the last 120 years. The authors provide both an interesting and detailed look at where the crimesoccurred but also offer to the reader new to the East End, or even those who know the area, splendid information onthe changing neighbourhoods where these events took place. Possibly the heart of the book, and the most tantalizing, is the authors’ discussion of the 29–30 September 1888 per-ambulations of Catherine Eddowes, who, after coming back to town from hop picking, pawned her boots at JosephJones Pawnbroker, 3 Fournier Steet, formerly 31 Church Street—a location the authors illustrate with a 2007 photo-graph—and got drunk on the money and was arrested by the police for giving, as the authors put it, ‘a drunken imper-sonation of a fire engine’ outside of 29 Aldgate High Street. The authors show the location in a 2004 view, along witha 1926 view of Black Horse Yard looking toward the street. Kate was subsequently locked up for several hours inBishopsgate Police Station, shown in 1901 and 2007 views (the 1939 Art Deco rebuild of the police station was heavily Ripperologist 98 December 2008 77
  • 78. damaged in World War II). Leading up to their discussion of Kate’s demise in Mitre Square, the authors provide a view of Bishopsgate from 1895alongside a 2007 view, a circa 1905 view of St Botolph’s church, Aldgate, from the Minories, an engraving of the ThreeNuns Tavern from The Building News of 26 April 1878, and a drawing of the Orange Market, St. James’s Place. The tav-ern is interesting because it is the location of the story told by engraver Albert Bachert, later head of the local vigi-lance committee, where on the night Kate was killed, he saw a man acting suspiciously that might or might not havebeen the murderer. In circumstances about which we can only speculate, Kate met the Ripper and was killed in Mitre Square, Aldgate,at the rear of the Great Synagogue. Mystery surrounds all of the Whitechapel murders, canonical or not, but perhapsthe Eddowes killing has extra interest because of all the canonical murder sites, it is least changed, in that one canstill visit ‘Ripper’s Corner’ to see where Kate Eddowes died, even if the buildings around the square have been replacedwith modern buildings. For Mitre Square, the authors republish the circa 1925 atmospheric view by William Whiffin, a well-known photog-rapher of East End locations, showing a horse nuzzling into a feed bag while in the traces of a small two-wheel cart,smoke belching from a row of chimneys atop buildings in the background, with one of Kearley and Tong’s warehousesdominating the right side of the picture. Valuably, several views by Mr Whitby from 1961 showing the square intact aresupplemented by 2007 views, along with a view of Ripper’s Corner that appeared in William Stewart’s Jack the Ripper,A New Theory, 1938. A drawing of Ripper’s Corner from The Pictorial World of 11 October 1888 appears on page 6 andis interesting to compare to the later views. In the foreword, Stewart P Evans provides useful additional perspective in that he saw and photographed the mur-der sites in the late Sixties before development changed them to their present appearance. If there are downsides to The London of Jack the Ripper: Then and Now, one quibble might be that the type faceused for the text (although not the foreword, introduction, and bibliography) is on the small size, particularly the typefont used for the contemporary quotes. The presentation of such quotes and the illustration captions is not helpedeither by the author and/or publisher decision to use antique-looking lettering. Additionally, an occasional problem isthe checkered effect seen in several photos reproduced from previous texts. This is so, for example, in regard to theviews of Durward Street (formerly Buck’s Row) and Ripper’s Corner reprinted from Jack the Ripper, A New Theory thatappear above similar blemishless views from 2007. A somewhat surprising other downside is that although, on the finalpage of the book, the authors list ‘maps consulted’, the text lacks maps that might help orientate the reader. Theseare all things that should be rectified in a new edition of the book, along with hopefully providing an index which thepresent edition lacks. As a picture book, though, The London of Jack the Ripper: Then and Now in large part does its job admirably. Two-page spreads such as the view of ‘Chrisp Steet Market, Poplar, 1906’ and ‘Mansell Street looking south, 20 April 1914’,along with the full-page view of the interior passage of 29 Hanbury Street, taken by Mr Whitby in 1961, are a joy tobehold. It makes one wish that perhaps down the line the book might be reissued in coffee table book format. Even atthe size now presented in this edition (9.6 inches by 6.7 inches), one feels one could step into those photographs andstart to perambulate the old East End and see the murder scenes as they looked at the time of the crimes. Or else, interms of Mr Whitby’s Hanbury Street photograph, walk down the passage toward that dingy back door and interrupt theRipper in his work. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 78
  • 79. The Maybrick A to ZChristopher JonesBirkenhead, Wirral, UK: Countyvise Ltd, 2007, 308 pp., bibliography, chronologyISBN 978-1-906823-00-9UK £14.95 No doubt a number of you are tired of hearing about the Maybricks because you don’tbelieve the alleged Diary of James Maybrick, in which the Liverpool cottonbroker ‘con-fesses’ to being the Whitechapel murderer, is the real McCoy. However even those ofyou who don’t think Maybrick was ‘Jack’ may be interested in this book by Liverpool his-tory teacher Chris Jones. It is packed full of new information about the 1889 Maybrickcase that will fascinate you, whether or not the Liverpool businessman was the Ripper.Here is everything you might want to know, or should that be more that you might everwish to know, about James and Florence Maybrick. The author has been exhaustive in researching the lives of theMaybricks including the events and locales connected to the sordid demise of Mr Maybrick in May 1889 at BattlecreaseHouse in Aigburth, Liverpool, and the subsequent trial and traumas of his widow, Alabama-born Florence Maybrick,accused of murdering her husband by arsenic poisoning. Mr Jones is of course the man who arranged the controversial ‘Trial of James Maybrick’ at the Liverpool Cricket Clubin May 2007. However, in this book, as on the Maybrick website ( that he recently began, MrJones takes a non-partisan view of Maybrick’s candidacy for the bloody mantle of the Ripper. In his research, Mr Jones has discovered many nuggets of information about the Maybrick case, including informationon lesser known individuals in the case, such as Fletcher Rodgers (1823–1891), foreman of the coroner’s jury that ruledagainst Mrs Maybrick, some think because of her evident adultery with cotton merchant Albert Brierley. Under SamuelBrighouse, coroner for Southwest Lancashire, Rogers and his fellow jurymen returned ‘a verdict of wilful murder’against Mrs Maybrick. Mr Rogers, who, Jones notes, ‘played a relatively active role’ in the proceedings, was himself acotton merchant and must have known the dead man well. Thus he was hardly an unbiased observer. Surely today sucha far from disinterested person could not be appointed to a jury. Perhaps even more intriguing is the fact that afterFlorence Maybrick’s trial and conviction, he and his family moved into Battlecrease House, Rogers having taken up theremainder of the lease to the property. He died in December 1891 at the age of sixty-eight, having been married twiceand fathering seventeen children. Some might think it suspicious that he went to live in the same house where theMaybricks lived, although as a local man and given the size of his family, the need for spacious quarters probably fac-tored into his decision to take the lease. The book begins with a rundown of the Maybrick and Ripper cases, with three chapters, respectively, on ‘James andFlorence Maybrick’, ‘Trial of Florence Maybrick’, and ‘The Ripper Connection’. These are followed by chapter 4, thelargest section, pages 55 to 300, which comprises the actual ‘Maybrick A to Z’ of the book’s title, followed by a usefulchronology and bibliography. The book is full of rare illustrations, over 150 of them, a number of them contemporarynewspaper illustrations and other graphics previously unpublished in any modern book. Also included are new photo-graphs by Mr Jones, including a sad colour shot of Florence Maybrick’s lichen-festooned gravestone in Connecticut. Itwas in a shack on the grounds of South Kent School that Florie lived her final days after her release from prison in 1904.She died in 1941 in that house, accompanied by pet cats, an old soul by now unkempt and forgotten by a world whichonce considered her case a cause célèbre. A bit surprising is the choice to publish on the cover of The Maybrick A to Z the drawings of Jim and Florie Maybrick Ripperologist 98 December 2008 79
  • 80. that appeared in The Porcupine newspaper of 15 June 1889. Despite the claim of artist, Mr Oliver Silk, that he hadshown the drawings to friends and relatives of the couple who said it was ‘a true and accurate likeness of them’, theimage of Florence shows nothing of the beauty that she is said to have shown in her younger years, and that is evidenteven in some photographs taken after her release. The final entry in this A to Z is ‘Zodiac killer’ which seems an odd pick. True the California serial killer of the 1970’slike Jack the Ripper was never identified positively, and it’s likewise true that the unknown murderer wrote to theauthorities, as the Ripper is popularly thought to have done (or else people posing as the Ripper did). However, therewould seem to be nothing else to connect Zodiac to the Ripper case let alone to the Maybricks. Mr Jones has told us that even with his book out coming in at over 300 pages, his research into the Maybricks is notover. He said, ‘I am in America at Easter. Flying into Washington and visiting Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and Norfolk,Virginia.’ It was in that Virginia seaport city that, before his marriage to Florence, Maybrick spent part of each yearworking, and where he caught malaria, and was prescribed arsenic to which he became addicted. Chris added, ‘I have been in contact with the public library personnel in Norfolk (very helpful) and hope to do 2 daysresearch into documents/papers from 1870s/1880s. They even want me to do a presentation!’ The Gettysburg portionof his trip will be to further investigate American cottonbroker and Civil War Union commander General John GardinerHazard (1832–1897). He added, ‘I am sure he knew the “real” James Maybrick. He played an active part in the defenceof Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg.’The RiddleStarring Vinnie Jones, Derek Jacobi, Julie Cox, Vanessa RedgraveWritten, directed and produced by Brendan FoleyImage Entertainment, Inc, 2007US Release Date: August 19, 2008UK Certificate 15Length 100 mins, DVD Colour, Regions 1 and 2DVD Features: Widescreen 1.78Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - EnglishSubtitles - English SDH, Spanish - OptionalUK £12.99, US $27.98 Former professional football player Vinnie Jones is not exactly our idea of a leading man but he does a decent jobas sports journalist Mike Sullivan who gets enmeshed in a string of murders related to filthy Thames side land deals, anewly discovered Charles Dickens novel, and police skullduggery in Dickens’ time and in the present day. A better fitfor the role of Sullivan might have been the more cheery Pierce Brosnan but perhaps he was cavorting on that Greekisland with Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia when The Riddle was being shot. This low budget straight to DVD tale was given out in the UK as a freebie by The Mail on Sunday a year ago but sinceit recently hit the stores across the Atlantic and elsewhere, we thought you, our faithful readers, deserved to knowabout it. Actually the real scene stealer in the whole flick is Sir Derek Jacobi who gives a luscious multi-role performance asa riverside homeless man, as Charles Dickens himself, and as the protagonist in Dickens’ novel who finds himself in abit of a bind marriage-wise leading to him being blackmailed by a crooked police detective. We won’t give the whole plot away but the film is worth watching just to take in Jacobi’s performance, one of hisbest (and that includes I Claudius, Gladiator, Graham Greene’s The Tenth Man, etc). By contrast, the performance bythe other big name actor in the movie, Vanessa Redgrave, as the newspaper boss, is a bit of a walk-on role with noactual meat in it. Buy or rent the movie just to watch Jacobi. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 80
  • 81. Ripping Yarns 2008 in Review As readers and collectors know only too well, a mini-library of new books on Jack the Ripper ispublished each year. Here’s a selection of some of them, along with our thoughts.The Ripper CodeBy Thomas ToughillStroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing, 2008.Hardback, 272pp, Illus, biblio, notes, £20 In the 1970s Thomas Toughill wrote to Colin Wilson revealing his theory that the Ripper was FrankMiles, an artist who enjoyed success in the late 1870s and early 1880s. Miles would be almost forgot-ten today had he not been a friend and possible lover of the young Oscar Wilde. The basis ofToughill’s theory is that Miles was driven to commit the murders by a combination of the breakup ofhis relationship with Wilde, the decline of his popularity as an artist, and his syphilitic insanity.We wrote: In [The Ripper Code], Toughill explains and expands his theory. Unfortunately the theory wasnever plausible and despite Toughill’s best efforts, the 30-year gestation hasn’t changed anything. ...While Toughill presents his case with skill, he tends to find significance in almost any chance remark. For exam-ple, he notes that Marie Belloc Lowndes wrote that she received lots of letters of praise for The Lodger from assort-ed friends, one being a postcard from Wilde’s biographer,Robert Sherard. Toughill wonders, ‘Why should this man have felt the need to write to Lowndes after the publicationof The Lodger? In light of all that has been said above, surely a convincing answer is that Sherard, like Belloc Lowndesherself, knew Miles to be the Ripper, and that he wrote her praising what he recognised as a cleverly composed andwell-disguised account of the truth?’ Well, Toughill might find that a ‘convincing answer’, but does his claim thatSherard felt a ‘need’ to write to Belloc Lowndes have much going for it? There’s absolutely no reason to suppose thatSherard felt any ‘need’ to write to the author. It’s normal and reasonable for a friend to drop a note on a postcard toher congratulating her on a successful publication. The Ripper Code is not entirely without merit. Toughill does draw attention to the writings of George R Sims, who,like Major Griffiths, was a confidant of Macnaghten and who wrote of Macnaghten’s three suspects. But exactly howmuch Sims knew is open to question. He may not have known the names of the suspects, for example, because weknow that Sims wrote to Littlechild inquiring about a ‘Dr D’, so he may only have known the suspects’ initials. Simsalso wrote that the suspect we identify as Montague John Druitt had formerly been the inmate of an asylum, had forat least a year been a free man, and was a man of birth and education. These details fit Frank Miles, of course, butthey do not fit Druitt. The information about Sims isn’t evidence that Miles was the Ripper, but it might be evidencethat Montague John Druitt was not the man about whom Macnaghten received private information. One comes awayfrom Toughill’s book thinking, but sadly one is not thinking that Frank Miles was Jack the Ripper. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 81
  • 82. Mary Jane Kelly & The Ripper Murders: Proof of the Involvement of the Heir to the Crown Peter Londragan eBooks-UK, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, 2008 Downloadable £5.96 We wrote: This book is well written and readable, although perhaps needless to say it doesn’t provide proof (or anything approaching proof) of royal involvement in the Ripper murders. What it does do is to provide some fascinating background to the royal conspiracy theory, telling the story ofsome other royal offspring - or claimed royal offspring - including Hannah Lightfoot, George Rex and MariaFitzherbert. But the trouble is that Londragan seems a little selective in what he writes; you would come away fromhis account of Lightfoot and with little doubt that they were married to and a son of George III, respectively, where-as the claims concerning both are controversial and according to some are disproven. For Londragan, of course, the point of these stories is to demonstrate that royals did marry commoners, just asJoseph Sickert claims the Duke of Clarence did, but the problem is that although Hannah Lightfoot seems to have dis-appeared, the alleged children of the marriage would seem to have benefited from royal patronage and enjoyed pros-perous lives.... Nevertheless, the stories are interesting and the mystery tantalising, but they prove nothing, and the fact is thatthey don’t really have any bearing on the murder of five prostitutes, because even if there had been a blackmailattempt it is difficult to suppose that the royal family would have sanctioned or allowed such brutal, headline-grab-bing murders to continue. Mary Kelly and her friends could have been quietly spirited away and incarcerated or killedwithout anyone knowing.A Study in Red: The Secret Journal of Jack the RipperBy Brian L. PorterDouble Dragon PublishingMarkham, Ontario, Canada; January 2008UK. £10.99, $16.99 in paperback$5.99 downloadable e-book pp.We wrote: Yet another entry in the growing genre of Jack the Ripper fiction, this effort is byEnglishman Brian L. Porter. The author’s writing roots are made clear as the story turns upona journal written by Jack the Ripper that soon wreaks a seemingly supernatural effect uponthe narrator as he reads the murderer’s own account of his reign of terror. It is this reviewer’sopinion that the author ought to have stayed with his roots rather than grafting upon them aRipper theme. ...Anyone who collects Ripper fiction will definitely want a copy, but readers lookingfor more than that may well be disappointed. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 82
  • 83. Jack The Ripper: Infamous London Serial Killer Anonymous Filiquarian Publishing LLC p/b 52pp, £6.99, or else free download at We wrote: This is a strange little publication which discusses the crimes in a little over thirty pages of largish print and in general is a tolerably accurate and brief as brief can be overview of the case. There’s not a lot else one can say, loyal readers of Ripperologist having long ago gained greater knowledge than is contained within these pages, making the book unlikely to be of interest to anyone except the collector. As far as overviews for the ‘uninitiated’ go, there are far better books to choose from.Into the Abyss: The Life and Works of G. R. SimsW. J. FishmanIntroduction by Beryl BainbridgeLondon: Elliott and Thompson, 2008www.elliotthompson.comSoftcover, 95pp, ISBN: 9781904027638, £9.95We wrote: Ripperologists know Sims best for his various references to Macnaghten’s suspects and as the author of an inquir-ing letter of 1913 to to ex-Scotland Yard Inspector John George Littlechild which provoked a response from the for-mer Yard official naming herbalist Francis Tumblety as a Ripper suspect. Sims deserves a major biography. ProfessorWilliam Fishman, a knowledgeable and able researcher and writer, was perhaps just the right authority to havebrought it off. Unfortunately, this book is a slim pamphlet-like book, overpriced at £9.95, that falls far short of deliv-ering the promise of its subtitle. The book has little to do with either the entire life or work of George R Sims beyondproviding extracts from Sims’s writings about the extreme plight of the Free soup for the poor of the East EndLondon poor. As observed, this was only a tiny part of Sims’s extraordinaryliterary output. Fishman barely touches on the milieu in which Sims, a self-confessed bohemian, wined, dined and entertained himself. ... the Abyss is not about the life and work of George R Sims as much Intoas it is a book in which Fishman extensively quotes Sims’s writings about con-ditions among the poor of London at the turn of the century. Yet, there areother books which deal more comprehensively with that subject. Into theAbyss offers nothing new or different. Sims unquestionably painted the mostharrowing portraits of the degraded conditions among the poor of themetropolis, which justly earned him literary immortality as a social com-mentator. However, his status as such needs to be seen in the wider contextof his life. The errors suggest a lack of interest in topics outside the maintheme or a lack of care when proofreading. Neither idea encourages thereader to think that the author’s heart and soul were in this book. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 83
  • 84. Jack the Ripper and the East EndEdited by Alex WernerLondon: Chatto and Windus, h/back, 287pp,ISBN: 9780701182472 £25We wrote: As a book about Jack the Ripper, this title, published as the companion volume to the cur-rent exhibition of the same name at the Museum in Docklands at West India Quay, is probablythe worst ever written. Or it would be if it were about Jack the Ripper. But it isn’t. Instead,it’s a collection of essays about the East End of London during the last half of the 19th centu-ry and as such it is pretty good. Peter Ackroyd kicks off with an introduction in which you canread about the murder of Annie May Chapman, found dead in the same area of Spitalfields asMary Ann Nichols, of how a police superintendent ordered the erasure of the Goulston Street graffito, how Mary Kellywas murdered in a room in the area where the first killing had happened and how her organs were strewn around herroom, and how Emma Smith had died after a blunt instrument was inserted into her stomach. ...Overall, with a different title and a different premise this would be a reasonably good collection of essays aboutthe late 19th century East End, and, of course, the book is liberally illustrated with some fantastic photographs, butif the bottle says you are buying a 1976 Dom Romane Conti and the contents turn out to be 420 Volcanic you may bedisappointed and very angry (the point being that the first is a very expensive wine and the second is a very expen-sive bottled water and no matter how good the bottled water may be, if it ain’t the wine then it ain’t what’s on thelabel and it ain’t what you were led to believe you were buying). Adventures In Paranormal Investigation by Joe Nickell Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 2007 292pp, index, illus, references, $29.95 We wrote: Joe Nickell is a Senior Research Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and a profes- sional debunker, and in this highly readable book he takes the bunk out of 40 assorted myster- ies, ranging from alien autopsies to second sight, embracing Patricia Cornwell as he goes in a chapter that perhaps has rather less to do with her theory about Sickert than with her approach to historical research—he concludes, ‘Cornwell is well known as a writer of entertaining fiction. She continues that tradition with Portrait of a Killer.’ ...everyone, even Patricia Cornwell her-self, recognises the deficiencies in Portrait of a Killer, but Cornwell really did no more than many a Ripperologistbefore her (namely, she tried to build a case against a suspect) and at least she began with what must have seemedlike a solid-gold tip when Walter Sickert was suggested to her. (It’s odd, isn’t it, how investigations of both JosephSickert’s story and Walter Sickert came from sources at the Yard?) And the case against Walter Sickert isn’t entirelydevoid of merit. Walter Sickert had a known interest in the Ripper murders that it is thought stems from having takenrooms which he said his landlady thought had been formerly occupied by Jack the Ripper. Further, Sickert depictedthe bedroom in a painting, calling the work ‘Jack the Ripper’s Bedroom’, but we only have Sickert’s word for the storyabout a previous tenant and no part of it has been confirmed. Thus, who’s to say that he didn’t invent it to explain Ripperologist 98 December 2008 84
  • 85. his interest, and who’s to say the painting isn’t a confession? And Sickert did write Ripper letters to the authorities,at least according to forensic paper examiner Peter Bower, who has identified some Ripper letters as coming from thesame very small batch as some letters written by Sickert. Whether or not the Sickert theory really has a leg to standon, an investigator, especially a professional debunker like Nickell, should consider both sides of the coin instead of just his side.London Crime, Death & DebaucheryBy Neil R. StoreyS/B, 224 pp., Illus., Sutton Publishing, £14.99We wrote: Jam-packed with items chronicling the darker side of our capital city. Everything seems to becovered, from murder, body snatching, robbery and suicide, to infanticide, highwaymen and exe-cutions ...profusely illustrated and I am glad to see has a very good index. The Blackest Streets: The Life and Death of a Victorian Slum By Sarah Wise Bodley Head, London, 2008 Hardbound 276 pages; illustrations 20 in United Kingdom We wrote: Sarah Wise… sets her sights this time around on the social conditions of the Old Nichol area of Bethnal Green in the Victorian era. This profusely illustrated book presents in the starkest terms possible the conditions in which people found themselves in this very poor area during the last half of the 19th century. Just how poor was the Nichol slum is underscored by Charles Booth’spoverty census. Readers of Ripperologist are familiar with the overall poverty of the East End, but whereas Boothfound 35 percent of those in the East End were “very poor”, the figure for those in the Nichol was a staggering 83percent. …Wise attempts to provide a true social and political history of the area for the last part of the nineteenth centu-ry and to lead the reader to a greater understanding of how the area and its people found themselves in a state ofsuch desperate poverty. The author often uses stories about the lives of real people to great effect. This book alsobriefly explores the myth of the Old Nichol gang. Also examined is the policing by J and H divisions during the Autumnof Terror and there is a reference to the Berner Street Club that some readers may find interesting. All said, this book provides a powerful insight into the social conditions in this area of the East End during the Late-Victorian Period. It was a very thought provoking book and made this reader feel as though I were actually walking inthe Nichol at the time. It is highly recommended. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 85
  • 86. Jack the Ripper: The Celebrity SuspectsMike HolgateStroud, Gloucestershire: The History Press, 2008ISBN 978-07524-4757-5Softcover, biblio and sources, illus£9.99We wrote: …[The Celebrity Suspects] offers up over 120-odd glossy pages to 30 ‘serious’ celebri-ty suspects and one, W G Grace, offered tongue-in-cheek by Holgate (and that isn’t anoriginal suggestion, Grace was fingered as the Ripper in a then forthcoming book Howthe Ripper Stumped the World by Legg Beaufort Wiggett mentioned in an article All TooPredictable by a Rip editor, also with tongue very firmly in cheek, which was publishedin Ripper Notes back in January 2006). But some of the folk here were never really suspects in any meaningful sense at all.King Leopold of the Belgians is an example, although Jacquemine Charrot-Lodwidge, who first theorised that he mighthave committed the murders, based her theory on a rather more acceptable line of reasoning than Holgate suggests.Charrot-Lodwidge noted that unfaithful women were ritually sacrificed in a manner similar to the butchering of MaryKelly, from which specific rather than a general witnessing of the atrocities committed, it was suggested that Leopoldmay have been influenced to commit the crimes. It was quickly established, however, that Leopold had never been tothe Congo and could not have personally witnessed anything that happened there, and also that he wasn’t in Londonwhen the Ripper murders were committed, and so the theory died. It was, nevertheless, a fairly well-reasoned notion. At least Holgate cites who suggested Leopold and why (albeit not altogether correctly). However, he later says DrBarnardo was first suggested by Donald Rumbelow, which in fairness to Holgate is clearly a slip of the pen for DonaldMcCormick, but he doesn’t mention the infinitely more serious claims made by Barnardo’s distinguished biographerDame Gillian Wagner. There’s no mention of Vanessa Hayes most recent advancement of Barnardo either. The presence of Leopold and Barnardo in the list as least gets some explanation, but the presence of Charles StewartParnell is a mystery. Offhand we can’t recall any remotely serious suggestion that Parnell was Jack the Ripper, or was inany way associated with the crimes. There is a story told by T.P O’Connor’s wife of a night-time visit by Parnell to .Labouchere. Parnell was wearing a long coat with the collar turned up well above his ears, a slouch hat pulled down overhis eyes, and was carrying a black bag. After Parnell had been swallowed up by the Bible-black night, as Dylan Thomasmight have described it, Labouchere returned to his friends in his library, and laughing, said, “I do believe that I’vejust parted with ‘Jack the Ripper’—anyhow Parnell is the only man who answers to the description.” This, we fear, isabout the only suspicion we can think of between Parnell and the Ripper. Holgate does not mention it. Most celebrity suspects are complete non-starters, but they’ve often been advanced for sensible enough reasons.This book may have had a value if Mike Holgate had explored those reasons respectfully, but, as is clear from the intro-duction, Holgate uses the ‘daft side’ to poke fun at Ripperology and Ripperologists. If you feel like forking out £9.99for that and for very little else, go ahead, but I can think of better things to spend our hard-earned dosh on. Ripperologist 98 December 2008 86
  • 87. The Worst Street in LondonFiona RuleHorsham, Surrey: Ian Allen, 2008ISBN: 978-0-7110-3345-0Hardcover, 224pp, index, illus.£19.99We wrote: Today Dorset Street in Spitalfields is a nondescript and unnamed service road, but atvarious times in its history it was described as the worst street in London. Whether it everdeserved that dubious distinction is questionable and there seems to be little evidencethat it was any worse than many of the surrounding streets, notably Flower and DeanStreet. We are told, for example, that policemen would only patrol the street in pairs,but this was said of other streets and lacks any kind of official confirmation. In fact, asfar as one can tell is untrue: a single policeman seems to have escorted Booth’s researcherround Dorset Street and Benjamin Leeson was apparently alone in Dorset Street when nearly accidentally skewered bya knife aimed at Squibby. In truth, this book isn’t really about Dorset Street, it’s about Spitalfields, and the first sixteen chapters superfi-cially describe the decline of the whole area from its start as the prosperous heart of the silk-weaving industry to itsrapid decline into dilapidated slum dwellings and common lodging houses. The chapters are short and succinct, some-times running to no more than two or three pages, an exception being a chapter about the notorious Jack Sheppard,who was born and spent a few years in White’s Row, the street next to Dorset Street. It hurts to say that superficiality marks out this book, but in saying this we want to make it clear that this is a veryreadable book. The short, punchy chapters contain enough material to keep the general reader informed, and Rule haseschewed footnotes, source citations and the sort of over-detail that make many social histories heavy going. The WorstStreet in London reads more like one of those family sagas like Upstairs, Downstairs that trace the highs and lows of afamily or place through one or more generations. Most general readers won’t be disappointed, but readers ofRipperologist are not general readers and may find the book a disappointment. We missed the source citations, especially as it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between something Rule hasfound in a source and something she has assumed or invented for colour. For example, following the murder of AnnieChapman did William Crossingham really ever consider being uncooperative with the police, as Rule says? Did he real-ly send two of his staff to the inquest with instructions to be as helpful as possible? …In fact, William Crossingham and Jack McCarthy, who flit in and out of the unfolding story of Dorset Street, remainshadowy and vaguely defined. One of the most interesting and important chapters, ‘The Controllers of Spitalfields’,discusses the lodging-house landlords—William Crossingham, Jimmy Smith, John McCarthy and so on—but the chapterdoesn’t really amount even to a pen portrait of these men. Perhaps nothings—no descendants, no family memories,no anecdotes, no photographs— exists, but unless we missed it, Rule doesn’t actually say so and readers are inevitablyleft wondering whether the information doesn’t exist or she just didn’t look for it very hard.…We must confess that having read this book we emerged with no clearer idea of what made Dorset Street a worsestreet than any other, and we have little or no ‘feel’ for the people who lived there and who remain shadowy andvague. The likes of Mr and Mrs Ringer and the other publicans of Dorset Street, who must have stamped their influ-ence on the lives of the residents, seem emphemeral, hardly, if ever, mentioned. Even McCarthy and Crossinghamremain scarecrows: clothed and looking human but underneath lacking shape, form and substance. Were they simplebusinessmen who exploited and yet also served the needs of the poor and destitute, or were they East End versions Ripperologist 98 December 2008 87
  • 88. of Al Swearengen presiding over their doss house empires as he presided over the Gem Saloon, their wicked fingers inall sorts of nefarious pies? Fiona Rule tries hard to suggest the latter, but there’s little in the way of firm evidencepresented. It’s a pity because in many respects Dorset Street has all the elements to be a mini-series equivalent toDeadwood. We don’t want the foregoing to suggest that this isn’t a book worth buying. It is highly readable, not in the leastbit stodgy, and the average reader will find it flowing and informative. It achieves what we suspect Fiona Rule set outto achieve and one should never criticise a book for not being what the author never wanted it to be (that’s a bit likecriticising a champion hurdler for not doing well at the javelin). As a popular, entertaining summary The Worst StreetIn London delivers. But the definitive book on Dorset Street still has to be written.Elizabeth Stride and Jack the Ripper:Life and Death of the Reputed Third VictimDave YostJefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2008Index, biblio, notes, glossary, illus.ISBN: 978-0-7864-3318-6paperback, $39.95/£28.95We wrote: This is the second biography of Elizabeth Stride, although the first, Jack the Ripper’stredje offer by journalist Birgita Leufstadius, published in 1994, was published in Swedenand, never having been translated into English (but watch this space!), it bypassed mostreaders and researchers, some of whom even thought it was a novel. Ms. Leufstadius’sbook is very good and hard-core Ripperologists will particularly value the photographs ofthe interior of the Frying Pan (now the Sheraz) when it was a pub, but for most peopleDave Yost’s will be the first book-length examination of the life of Stride. …Let me state here at the outset that just over a third of Yost’s book consists of transcripts of the Stride inquest.We think this was a mistake; Dave Yost obviously had to tell the story of Stride’s murder and the investigation and it’sa toss up whether this is better done by quoting the transcripts of the inquest or by paraphrasing the transcripts as astraightforward narrative. In general we would prefer to read what the witnesses actually said, but the transcriptscan be a little tough going for those new to the subject (who admittedly probably weren’t aren’t the people Yost waswriting for). These days, readers could be directed to the huge and extraordinarily valuable collection of transcriptson Casebook: Jack the Ripper and other digitised newspaper collections, thus enabling Yost to examine the many mys-teries surrounding Stride in the course of the narrative. That’s just a personal viewpoint. Anyway, Dave Yost kicks off with a brief account of Elizabeth’s life in Sweden andher emigration to Britain, where very little seems to be certainly known of her early years. She may have worked inservice – indeed, there being few alternative occupations for woman at the time it is highly likely that this was indeedthe case – until she married John Thomas Stride on 7 March 1869. Apparently they opened a coffee shop in ChrispStreet, but over the years relocated several times until the business failed entirely and in due course the couple sep-arated, Stride quickly returning to prostitution. All this is pretty much established and will offer little that’s new tothe seasoned Ripperphile, but it’s nice to have it laid out in an entertaining narrative form. This is followed by thetranscripts of the inquest, peppered here and there with Dave Yost’s always valuable observations and comments. But Yost really gets into his, er, stride with chapter ten when he begins to examine some of the many questionssurrounding Liz: what she did do when she first came to England, did she ever have a coffee shop in Chrisp Street, Ripperologist 98 December 2008 88
  • 89. was she ever aboard the Princess Alice; a whole chapter is given over to a discussion of Matthew Packer, but there isdisappointingly little discussion about the criminal exploits of ‘detective’ Le Grand of the Strand. There is all sorts ofgood stuff here, including an analysis of Israel Schwartz’s story. We would question some of Yost’s conclusions, for example that the murderer had plenty of time to at least attemptsome mutilation of his victim. There are several factors to take into consideration, (a) the attack seems to have beenspontaneous, (b) the attack was witnessed by Israel Schwartz, which itself must have been disturbing, and, as far asthe murderer knew, Schwartz might have returned at any moment with the police, and (c) only after the attack mightthe man have realised that he was in the passage leading to a busy club. The murderer may have thought that in thecircumstances discretion was the better part of valour and decided to high-tail it out of there before the dust clungto his heels. That Stride wasn’t mutilated is, of course, one of the main reasons why she is often discounted as a victim of Jackthe Ripper, and the title of his book gives a clue to the conclusion he reaches.Overall this is a good book, a satisfying read and a welcome addition to any Ripper book collection.El Monstruo de Londres: La Leyenda de Jack el DestripadorGabriel PomboMontevideo, Uruguay: Artemisa Editores, 2008Softcover, 261 pp.,US$ 16.http://www.jackeldestripador.netWe wrote: …Uruguayan author Gabriel Pombohas set himself an ambitious agenda and, to a remarkable extent, succeeds. Onthe surface, El Monstruo de Londres follows the pattern of previous books on the subject, being divided into an assess-ment of the social background emphasising the contrast between Cockney poverty and Imperial wealth, a factual nar-rative of the murders and the police investigation and an evaluation of the various suspects, to which is added a com-parison of Jack the Ripper with modern serial killers. Yet Pombo follows a path of his own, dipping at length into thesubjects that most interest him and touching only slightly upon the rest. He offers more a guided tour of the Rippermurder, complete with asides, quotations and winks addressed to the reader, than a hefty, scholarly tome. Pombo starts Monstruo with an examination of the conditions in the East End, but he does not linger over them.Instead, he breezily disposes of the subject in a few paragraphs with spare room for a quotation from the famous let-ter attributed to George Bernard Shaw and, within slightly more than a page, he is already getting on with the crimesthemselves. The following chapter deals with a chapter on the Ripper as a media icon, assessing both the role of thepress and the impact of the many letters attributed to the killer. This chapter also features an account of the GoulstonStreet Graffito and appearances by such diverse killers as Dr Petiot, Albert Fish and Belle Gunness. The heart of the book, however, is devoted to the suspects. Chapter III starts out with Patricia Cornwell’s theoriesregarding Walter Sickert as the Ripper. Before long, however, Pombo proves once again his eclecticism by citing in thesame chapter Colin Wilson and Robin Odell’s Jack the Ripper: Summing Up and Verdict, From Hell, Mrs Belloc Lowndes,Hitchcock, Dr Thomas S Stowell, Joseph Gorman Sickert, Stephen Knight and an array of suspects: Druitt, Prince Eddyand JamesStephen. The next chapter is about James Maybrick, the presumed author of the Ripper diary, but Pombo doesn’t go too farinto the narrative without recalling the fake diaries of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Howard Hughes. Chapter V, Ripperologist 98 December 2008 89
  • 90. devoted to conspiracy theories, sees the return of Stephen Knight, Alan Moore andDr Stowell, this time accompanied by Colin Wilson (again), Deborah McDonald andRobert Lees. For good measure, it also offers a glimpse into the Cleveland StreetScandal. Next, it’s Mad Jack’s turn: Thomas Cutbush, the Macnaghten trio (Druitt,Ostrog and Kosminski) and a parade of mentally unbalanced killers includingIsenschmid, Deeming, Cream and semi-fictitious Dr Stanley. Another delightfully desultory chapter looks at the female Rippers proposed byArthur Conan Doyle and William Stewart, followed by real-life killers like MrsPearcey and George Chapman and the suspects recently named by Trevor Marriott,Tony Williams and Charles van Onselen. To complete his infamous list, Pombo intro-duces even Pedachenko, who was most probably born of journalist William LeQueux’s fervid imagination. Perhaps unable to procure a copy of Le Queux’s over-priced memoirs, he has recourse to Donald McCormick’s and Robert Bloch’s takeson the archetypal mad Russian. Only Francis Tumblety and Roslyn D’Onston fail tojoin this noteworthy if notorious company (though apparently they materialize inPombo’s just published second volume of Ripper musings, Jack el Destripador. Laleyenda continúa). In a last chapter, Pombo evaluates Jack the Ripper as a serialkiller in the light of modern murderers such as Andrei Chikatillo and the Zodiac. The book is not entirely without flaws, though most of them could probably belaid at the door of copy editors and proofreaders rather than the author’s. To sum up, those who look for new theories or groundbreaking research won’t find them here. While reviewing andassessing the main theories on the Ripper and presenting fairly and objectively the reasoning of their proponents,Pombo sagely refrains from endorsing any of them. Nor does he finger improbable new suspects. His wide-ranging andenjoyable book is for the Spanish-speaking reader who, comparatively new to the Ripper case, wants to acquire somebasic knowledge before dipping further into it, or for the completist who aspires to own every single tome ever pub-lished concerning the elusive killer who vanished forever one chilly morning in 1888. Neither of them would be disap-pointed. Got something to say? Got comments on a feature in this issue? Or found new information? Please send your comments to Ripperologist 98 December 2008 91